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Health Officials Warn 500 Pairs of Eclipse Glasses Given Away at Lentz Health Center

August 16, 2017

Metro Public Health Department officials learned today that the 500 pairs of eclipse safety glasses that were given away two weeks ago at the Lentz Health Center do not provide the appropriate level of protection to view the upcoming solar eclipse.  For that reason Health officials are warning those who picked up a pair of eclipse safety glasses to throw them away and not use them to view the eclipse.

The Health Department ordered the glasses from a supplier who said the glasses were appropriate for viewing the eclipse.  Health officials contacted the vendor today and received a document that the glasses (ISO 12312-1 certification) “passed” for viewing the eclipse.  According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) -- only glasses with the ISO 12312-2 certification provides eye protection for direct observation of the sun.   Health officials made the announcement after learning about the wrong ISO designation.

Another option for those seeking safety glasses is the Adventure Science Center.  The glasses are currently offered there for $2 each. 

Health officials suggest using an alternative method of viewing the eclipse for those who do not have the appropriate safety glasses.  An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is indirectly via pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With your back to the Sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the Sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. Or just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you'll see the ground dappled with crescent Suns projected by the tiny spaces between the leaves.