Locals get refunds from Amazon after purchasing fake solar eclipse glasses

Published: Aug. 14, 2017 at 5:40 PM CDT
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Retail giant Amazon.com is sending email alerts and giving refunds to people who ordered solar eclipse glasses that the retailer can't confirm were made by recommended manufacturers.

WOWT 6 News spoke to two Iowa women who recently received refunds.

Andi Sharp ordered 10 pairs of glasses from Amazon so her family could safely watch the solar eclipse. She said: "I thought of anywhere to get them, they would get the ones that were supposed to be used."

So Sharp was shocked when she received an email from Amazon saying NOT to use the glasses. When Sharp looked closely at the frames, she saw they did not have the correct safety code. She said: "I realized these aren't rated... They aren't safe."

To avoid permanent eye damage from the sun's harmful rays, eclipse glasses need to be NASA-approved and stamped with the safety code ISO 12312-2.

Darla Lawson also ordered glasses from Amazon that didn't have the proper safety code. She told WOWT 6 News she isn't upset with Amazon for selling them - she's upset with whoever made them since they had to know they weren't safe. She said: "Shame on them. Shame on them for taking people's lives...into their hands."

Both Lawson & Sharp received full refunds from Amazon. Lawson ordered new glasses that are NASA-approved. By the time Sharp tried to re-order, however, Amazon was sold out.

The American Astronomical Society has a list of national retail chains where NASA-approved safety glasses are for sale. That list includes: 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Casey's General Store, Hobby Town, Lowe's, and Walmart. However, not every location is guaranteed to sell safety glasses.