The final countdown is on: The much-anticipated total solar eclipse will take place August 21. Viewing glasses are hot-ticket items; many places are selling certified viewing glasses - or think they are.
One local company got word over the weekend that the ones they ordered and re-sold may actually be unsafe.
Experts strongly recommend you wear glasses that have been verified and comply with international safety standards. If you don't, you could risk serious eye damage by staring at the sun. Interestingly, these glasses that were being sold are marked with the correct ISO number, 12312-2.
Fletcher Petroleum ordered the glasses August 2 and they hit shelves in their stores on August 10. But Amazon sent the company an email two days later informing them Amazon hadn't received confirmation from the supplier that they sourced the glasses from a recommended manufacturer. They advise not using the product to view the sun or the eclipse, so the company pulled the glasses immediately, saying they didn't want to take any risks.
"I just assumed when it had that stamp on them," Fletcher Petroleum President Marla Gardner said. "Make sure you do your research first and make sure you buy them from somebody who is reputable."
Gardner says the glasses were being sold at seven stores in Idaho and Oregon; all except two stores sold between 80 and 100 of these glasses. Amazon is giving the company a full refund, so if you bought some from the stores listed below, the company says you will get your money back:
- Veltex - 2212 10th Street in Baker City, OR 97814
- Fletcher Sinclair- 940 Hwy 7 in Baker City, OR
- Shady Acres- 4150 West State Street in Eagle, ID
- Sunset C- 990 Sunset Strip in Mountain Home, ID
- Veltex Mini Mart -182 West 1st Street in Glenns Ferry, ID
- Kwik Service in Jerome, Idaho
- Veltex Market- 511 N Main Street in Ketchum
Tons of people across the United States received emails from Amazon over the weekend similar to the one Fletcher Petroleum received.
"Safety is among our highest priorities. Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively reached out to customers and provided refunds for eclipse glasses that may not comply with industry standards. We want customers to buy with confidence anytime they make a purchase on Amazon.com and eclipse glasses sold on Amazon.com are required to comply with the relevant ISO standard," the company said in a statement.
Amazon said customers who did not receive an email purchased glasses that were safe to use. The company said some counterfeiters are ripping off legitimate brands so even if a customer purchased a verified product, it could be counterfeit.
Anyone who is concerned about their eclipse glasses but did not receive an email about the recall can reach out to Amazon customer service for a refund.
Amazon suggested customers refer to the NASA and AAS websites for more information about safely viewing the solar eclipse.