“Suspicious” solar eclipse glasses sold in Myrtle Beach

Professor tests suspicious eclipse glasses

Coastal Carolina professor test suspicious solar eclipse glasses.
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Coastal Carolina professor test suspicious solar eclipse glasses.

If you bought solar eclipse glasses at Eagles Beachwear store, they’re not the real deal, and the owner says he will no longer sell them.

Eagles Beachwear owner Sam Lauren sent The Sun News the certificate for the glasses in question, and the certificate bore the ISO number 12312-1 — a designation used for sunglasses — not the solar-safe ISO 12312-2 standard printed on the glasses sold in the beachwear store.

After The Sun News pointed out the inconsistent ISO numbers, Lauren said he would pull the glasses from his stores.

If glasses let in too much light, people could damage their retinas or burn their eyeballs.

Coastal Carolina University physics professor Louis Keiner tested out glasses sold in Myrtle Beach to see how much light they let through the lens, including those from Eagles.

According to Keiner, the only way to know for sure how much light the glasses let through is with lab equipment.

But according to the American Astronomical Society, “if you can see shaded lamps or other common household light fixtures (not bare bulbs) of more ordinary brightness through your eclipse glasses or hand-held viewer, and you're not sure the product came from a reputable vendor, it’s no good.”

Keiner tested glasses from Klig’s Kites at Broadway at the Beach and a Myrtle Beach Eagles Beachwear location by wearing the glasses when looking at a fluorescent light.

The glasses from Klig’s Kites were fine, according to Keiner, but the glasses from Eagles’ transmitted more light through the lenses.

“Unfortunately I can’t tell exactly how much they’re transmitting, but they’re definitely transmitting more than the solar filters that I have, so I would be suspicious of these,” Keiner said. “When you’re dealing with your eyes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So I definitely wouldn’t wear them if I had any doubts about them.”

According to NASA, people should avoid fake eclipse glasses by checking for an International Organization of Standardization reference number, also known as an ISO number. Glasses should have the ISO reference number 12312-2 printed on them as well as a manufacturer label.

The glasses from both Eagles Beachwear and Klig’s Kites have the correct ISO number, but neither of them have a manufacturer label.

Christian Boschult: 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian