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Metro Public Health Department Obtains Supply of Solar Eclipse Glasses, Will Offer to Exchange Certified Glasses to Those Who Picked Up Health Department Glasses at the Lentz Health Center

August 16, 2017

Metro Public Health Department officials today announced they have obtained enough eclipse safety glasses from the Adventure Science Center and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to offer them in exchange for the glasses that were given away two weeks ago at the Lentz Health Center.  Health officials learned yesterday the eclipse safety glasses they offered to the community August 1st do not provide the appropriate level of protection to view the upcoming solar eclipse.

Health officials will set up an exchange location in the lobby of the Lentz Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Ave. from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, August 17. We will offer to exchange the glasses to those who received the Health Department’s glasses as long as the supplies last.

The Health Department warns anyone who picked up the glasses August 1st not to use them to view the eclipse on August 21st and instead bring them to the Lentz Public Health Center tomorrow and exchange them for a pair of glasses that meet the necessary level of protection.  Replacement glasses will be given upon receipt of the original glasses issued on August 1st.

The Metro Health Department ordered the original glasses from a supplier who assured us the glasses were appropriate for viewing the eclipse.  The vendor provided 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.

Health officials also 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.