2024 Solar Eclipse Glasses Fiasco

2024, Apr 07    

Solar Eclipse Glasses
Nice shades. This flatbed scanner still has some uses.

Trying to find a pair of solar eclipse glasses has been hard over the past few weeks. Eventually I did find some being sold by Toytown and they had them in stock in their store but not online. The reports of alleged fake eclipse glasses has been making the rounds and I left it too late to check myself.

Mine are exactly the same as those found in the reports.

They came in a cellophane plastic wrapper with a UPC of 695845650109. According to goupc.com they tell us the following:

Name: Chantia Sales Solar Eclipse Glasses
EAN: 0695845650109
UPC: 695845650109
Brand: Chantia Sales
Category: Glass
Description: Lucky- Solar Eclipse Glasses are designed to protect your eyes while looking at the solar eclipse.

Upon contacting Toytown they did offer to refund the glasses when asked. I can’t be certain but I do not ever remember seeing the declaration of conformity or test report on the webpage until recently. They stated that they do stand by their glasses and state that they’re genuine.

Who’s to say here?

Anybody ordering any products from China should be well versed in the rampant acts of copyright infringement, false advertising and doctored safety certificates if there are any. Buyer beware as always especially if you need anything critical or heaven forbid health/safety related.

CTV Solar Eclipse Glasses
CTV and Home Hardware looks a little familiar….

CTV did a report mentioning the same pair of glasses that were being sold by Home Hardware. Apparently that company would not comment on camera but states it stands behind the product. I have a feeling that this report is based on the Inside Edition video that came out a few days earlier.

Inside Edition Solar Eclipse Glasses
Inside Edition looks eerily similiar… Hmmmm

The Inside Edition report meets up with an individual selling eclipse glasses in bulk off Craigslist in New York City. The meetup goes as you would expect when they pull out the cameras and identify themselves.

The more interesting aspect was that the reporters contacted Dr. Ralph Chou; apparently, the world-renowned expert on viewing solar eclipse safely.

Inside Edition Solar Eclipse Glasses
Those eclipse glasses yet again brought to you in PotatoVision

According to Dr. Chou he mentions the following:

  • I’m not sure whether they are truly safe
  • People are trying to make a buck these days
  • If you have any doubts don’t use them

Solar Eclipse Glasses
Please don’t sue us!

So how can you tell if they’re real or alleged fakes?

The American Astronomical Society has a nice list of which they deem safe along with a page detailing how to tell if your eclipse glasses are safe.

You shouldn’t be able to see anything through a safe solar filter except the Sun itself or something comparably bright, such as the Sun reflected in a mirror, a sunglint off shiny metal, the hot filament of an incandescent light bulb, a bright halogen light bulb, a bright-white LED bulb (including the flashlight on your smartphone), a bare compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb, or an arc-welding torch. All such sources (except perhaps the welding torch) should appear quite dim through a solar viewer. If you can see shaded lamps or other common household light fixtures (not bare bulbs) of more ordinary brightness through your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer, and you’re not sure the product came from a reputable vendor, don’t use it. Safe solar filters produce a view of the Sun that is comfortably bright (like the full Moon) and in focus. If you glance at the Sun through your solar filter and find it uncomfortably bright, don’t use it.

NASA does not approve any particular eclipse glasses manufacturers unlike the ones I have and those others in the reports.

Apparently Toytown has now removed said glasses from their website as you’ll get a 404 error. I always wondered why they would keep a product on their site that was sold out. You can never remove anything from the internet as we all know.

Toytown Solar Eclipse Glasses
That markup is pretty high but not as bad as I’ve seen considering you could have bought in volume for $0.12 a piece.

Caveat emptor as usual.

When in need make a pinhole camera with a cereal box. I did!