Amazon recalls phony eclipse glasses

CBS Newspath

NEW YORK — Amazon is offering a refund to customers who bought counterfeit eclipse glasses to watch what’s being referred to as the Superbowl of the sky.

“Thousands of us probably bought them because they are cheap.”

Pam Ledbury bought a pair of glasses to watch the celestial event Monday off of Amazon, but days later she got a letter from the retail giant recalling the potentially phony frames. They said the glasses may not come from a recommended manufacturer.

“We recommend that you do not use this product to view the sun or eclipse,” the letter warned. It stated that inappropriate glasses can result in the loss of vision or permanent blindness.

“Be very, very careful. The warnings that you hear are right.”

It’s a lesson that Leonard Bates learned the hard way. The 80-year-old permanently lost part of his vision when he watched his first eclipse at age nine.

“My right eye wasn’t working right,” he recalled. “There was a spot right at the center of my right eye, my focus that was just a blur.”

“It’s so dangerous for people to look at the sun even for brief periods of time because you can cause permanent damage to the retina – we call it solar retinopathy and it’s really very close to burning a hole in the retina,” explained Dr. Russell Van Gelder, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

NASA has a list of reputable vendors selling certified solar eclipse glasses to keep your eyes safely gazing at the sky. One of the vendors, American Paper Optics, is right here in the Mid-South.

NASA’s Reputable Vendors List