Fake eclipse glasses will likely be worn by many when millions of Americans turn their faces skyward to see the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in a century. Knockoffs of specially designed protective eyewear for staring at the sun are flooding the U.S. market.
Experts cautioned the public to stay clear of unsafe counterfeits, Reuters reported.
Even as makers of certified, safety-tested solar eye ware rushed to meet surging demand before the Aug. 21 eclipse, they have joined astronomers and optometrists in warning of defective knockoffs.
“It’s a bunch of unscrupulous people cashing in on the eclipse and putting public safety at risk,” said Richard Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society.
Staring at the sun without proper filtration, even when it is partially obscured by the moon during an eclipse, can damage or destroy photo-receptor cells of the eye’s retina, leaving blind spots in a person’s field of vision,