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August 17, 2017

Library recalls solar eclipse glasses given out Aug. 9-14

Contributed photo
The Fauquier County Public Library has recalled these four types of solar eclipse glasses handed out earlier this month.
The Fauquier County Public Library has recalled 6,000 solar eclipse glasses it distributed at all three branches Aug. 9-14.

Citizens should not use those glasses (pictured above), because the library cannot confirm that they can be used to safely view the solar eclipse based on International Organization for Standardization requirements.

Even brief, unprotected glimpses, or glimpses through fake eclipse glasses, of the sun can cause blurry vision or blindness.

The library joins many other organizations nationwide in responding to recent reports of fraudulent eclipse glasses flooding the market, Director Maria Del Rosso said in a press release Thursday.

While the glasses distributed by the library Aug. 9-14 state they have been produced by Solar Eclipse International, which makes solar eclipse glasses that meet ISO standards, they were obtained through third-party vendor Ballaj Inc.

Because Ballaj Inc. does not appear on Solar Eclipse International’s website as an approved third-party vendor, it remains unclear if the glasses are authentic, according to the library.

The library has been unable the authenticate the glasses through Solar Eclipse International.

“In an abundance of caution, because we are unable to verify the authenticity of the glasses received from the third party vendor, we are advising individuals to not use these glasses for any purpose,” Mrs. Del Rosso said.

“The glasses we received from Ballaj Inc. came with documentation that certified compliance with ISO standards,” Mrs. Del Rosso said. “However, in the past few days, it became unclear whether the distributor from whom the glasses were purchased is an approved vendor for Solar Eclipse International products.

“In recently documented instances other third party vendors have sold fake eclipse glasses claiming to be from reputable companies like Solar Eclipse International,” she added.

Glasses distributed by the library before Aug. 9 have been certified to meet ISO standards and were obtained through Star_Net.

Star_Net, a part of the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning, provides activities, programming and training to public libraries nationwide.

Citizens wishing to verify that they received Star_Net glasses may look for the Star_Net name on the exterior of the glasses.

More information about glasses obtained through Star_Net may be found here.

NASA and the American Astronomical Society urge citizens to use only authentic solar eclipse glasses because they will block 100,000 times more light than ordinary sunglasses, according to the library press release.

The library continues to attempt to verify the authenticity of the solar eclipse glasses.

For updates, visit the library website: https://fauquierlibrary.org/

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