Utahns running out of options to buy approved solar eclipse glasses

Posted at 7:48 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 22:26:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY – With less than a week away from the much anticipated total solar eclipse, some folks are scrambling to find the right protective eye wear after buying defective ones from Amazon.

1600 pairs of solar eclipse glasses distributed from the John A. Moran Eye Center are being recalled by Amazon. Amazon says the knock offs don’t comply with industry standards. Doctors warn people who try to view the rare event without proper glasses to think twice.

“Anytime someone looks at the sun whether it's during an eclipse or a regular day, it puts their eye at risk for potentially permanent damage,” said Dr. Jeff Pettey with the John A. Moran Eye Center.

Time is running out for people to find safe glasses. Clark Planetarium is trying to keep up with the demand.

On Tuesday, dozens of people lined up throughout the day to buy the extra 21,000 glasses the planetarium was able to get at the last minute. At $2.00 apiece and only 5 allowed per customer, the planetarium says they’ll most likely run out by Thursday.

How can you tell if glasses are the real deal?

Seth Jarvis, Clark Planetarium director says people should look for the ISO logo on the glasses.

“The most important thing is that the contact information should be printed in which the manufacturer is identified by name, by address, they give you their phone number. They give you the website. They even give you an email address," Jarvis said.

Dr. Pettey said if there's any doubt your eclipse glasses aren't legitimate, don’t use them.

Here are a list of recommended vendors who sell safe glasses. 

If you can’t get a hold of industry-approved eclipse glasses, Jarvis says you’re not out of luck. There are other safe ways to view the eclipse.

“If it's a shade 14 welders plate, that is a great thing to look through," Jarvis said.

You could also grab some binoculars.

“You let the light come through and project onto paper but you don't ever put your eye on there,” said Jarvis.

Or make a pinhole projector.

“Pinhole projection through a little hole in aluminum foil above and let it fall down.”

Jarvis says you don’t want to miss this rare event.

“A solar eclipse goes through your part of the world only rarely. The next time totality will reach our area, the Wasatch front is 2045. 28 years from now.”