How to Tell if Your Eclipse Glasses are Safe
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) The total solar eclipse is expected to draw thousands of people to gaze at the sky in just a week, however steps need to be taken to be sure not to permanently damage your eyes by using proper eye-wear.
Flat out, no one should ever look directly at the Sun with the naked eye. Countless organizations including St. Luke's Health System (see tips below) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) warn that looking at the Sun for any amount of time with the naked eye can damage them. The only way the Sun can be viewed safely is with approved solar viewing glasses that have special filters that eliminate the harm to your eyes. But, not all are approved for safe viewing.
According to the American Astronomical Society, National Science Foundation, the best way to know if the glasses you get meet safety requirements is to check for specific labeling on the glasses. Look for the specific ISO logo along with the numbers ISO 12312-2 or 12312-2:2015. Only glasses with these numbers and labeling are safe to look into the Sun. Regular everyday sunglasses are NOT OK to look directly into the Sun with. Plus, if you plan on using binoculars or a camera, you need to get special filters as well. The American Astronomical Society has provided a list of reputable solar eclipse vendors and manufactures to choose from, many of them can be found at big box stores.
St. Luke's Health System staff put together a music video reminding people to use proper eye protection:
St. Luke's Children's Hospital Ophthalmologists provided these tips and warnings for viewing the eclipse:
* Don't look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Direct viewing can cause damage to the retina, called solar retinopathy. Solar retinopathy can result in permanent loss of vision, distorted vision and loss of color perception.
* Use solar filters to safely look directly at the sun. Make sure you choose the right one: the filter must meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2. Free eclipse glasses will be available throughout the region, including at local public libraries.
* Carefully inspect your solar glasses for any flaws in the lenses before you use them.
* Do not use dark sunglasses or homemade solar filters. They are NOT SAFE for viewing the sun.
* Do not use cameras, telescopes or binoculars to view the eclipse UNLESS they're equipped with a special solar filter. Even when used with eclipse glasses, cameras, telescopes or binoculars without solar filters are not safe.
* Children and young adults are at the highest risk of solar retinopathy during an eclipse because the natural lens in their eyes is very clear. Make sure that any child watching the eclipse understands the danger of looking directly at the sun and can follow instructions regarding the use of eclipse glasses.
For more information on eclipse eye safety St. Luke's has an information page right on its website, stlukesonline.org