Counterfeit eclipse glasses were sold to clueless victims in preparation for the August 21, Great American Eclipse. One of those victims was the University of Georgia’s own Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
In preparation for the once-in-a-lifetime event, the glasses were in high demand as NASA and multiple news organizations urged Americans to protect their eyes from retina damage caused by staring into the sun’s harmful rays for extended periods of time.
The Grady College ordered 1,300 glasses from Amazon, that upon arrival, were found to be counterfeit from an unapproved manufacturer. Grady College quickly realized that the required information was not printed on the glasses they had ordered. After reaching out to Amazon to confirm whether these glasses were safe or not, Amazon said they were unable to confirm the manufacturer, nor could they say if the glasses met the required certification. As a result, Grady requested a refund for the cost, which was $457.98 for the 1,300 glasses purchased. Amazon politely agreed, but did not make Grady send the counterfeit glasses back due to the cost of shipping, so they are still sitting around in someone’s office.
The counterfeit glasses were shown to have no more protection than regular non-polarized sunglasses.
NASA initially recommended four approved manufacturers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for eye protection but now, along with AAS has published a list of legitimate companies making certifiably-safe eclipse glasses.
In an interview with a victim of the scam and senior at the University of Georgia, she stressed her concern of others who also bought the faulty lens. “It was a very haunting feeling, knowing if I had not educated myself about the lens, my eye sight could have suffered a lot of damage.”
Follow the link for a first hand account of the counterfeit glasses – the dangers and angers VIDEO