Why it matters to you
Keeping your eyes safe during the solar eclipse is of the highest importance, but some Amazon sunglasses won’t do the trick.
As one of the decade’s most exciting natural phenomena fast approaches, it would appear that some ne’er-do-wellers are attempting to take advantage of the solar eclipse to turn a profit — but at the expense of their customers’ health. As initially reported by the Verge, Amazon is now having to issue refunds for potentially fallacious solar eclipse glasses, because yes, people are awful.
On August 21, a large swath of the American population will be able to watch as the sun disappears behind the moon. The “Great American Eclipse” marks the first time in 38 years that the nation (or at least, parts of it), will be able to watch a total eclipse. But of course, watching such an event will require a lot of protective eyewear. And while many people turn to Amazon to buy just about everything they need in their lives, it would appear that the online retail giant can’t verify the safety of all the glasses on its site, and that some glasses are either counterfeit or unsafe.
“Safety is among our highest priorities,” an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively reached out to customers and provided refunds for eclipse glasses that may not comply with industry standards. We want customers to buy with confidence anytime they make a purchase on Amazon.com and eclipse glasses sold on Amazon.com are required to comply with the relevant ISO standard.”
In addition to providing refunds, Amazon is also reportedly removing sellers that are attempting to peddle unverified eclipse eyewear. If you recently bought a pair of sunglasses from Amazon for the purposes of watching the eclipse, and haven’t received a safety warning from the company, then you can rest assured that the supplier confirmed the product to the ISO compliant. If you think, however, that you have been duped, you can always reach out to Amazon’s customer service for a refund, as promised by the A-to-z Guarantee.
If you haven’t bought proper eye protection yet but plan on watching the event, Amazon does have a legitimate inventory of safe glasses available to choose from. Just be sure that any pair you purchase has the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard mark.