Fauquier County Public Library Safety Announcement Regarding Solar Eclipse Glasses
Fauquier County Public Library Public Safety Announcement Regarding Solar Eclipse Glasses
(Warrenton, VA) August 17, 2017, 4:30 p.m. The Fauquier County Public Library advises residents that received solar eclipse glasses distributed August 9 -14, 2017 by the Library not to use those glasses. It cannot be confirmed that use of the glasses distributed during that time frame to view the solar eclipse is safe or that those glasses meet the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards for such use.
The Fauquier County Public Library joins many other organizations nationwide in responding to recent reports of fraudulent eclipse glasses flooding the market. While the glasses distributed by the Library from August 9-14 state they are from Solar Eclipse International, a professional manufacturer of solar eclipse glasses that meet ISO standards, they were obtained through a third party vendor Ballaj Inc. Because Ballai, Inc. is not shown on Solar Eclipse International’s website as an approved third party vendor it is unclear if Ballaj Inc. was selling authentic Solar Eclipse International glasses or fraudulent ones.
The Library requested Solar Eclipse International verify that Ballaj Inc. is an approved vendor. However, as of the time of this press release, the Library has not received a response.
“The glasses we received from Ballaj Inc. came with documentation that certified compliance with ISO standards,” said Maria Del Rosso, Library Director. “However, in the past few days, it became unclear whether the distributor from whom the glasses were purchased is an approved vendor for Solar Eclipse International products.
“In recently documented instances other third party vendors have sold fake eclipse glasses claiming to be from reputable companies like Solar Eclipse International. In an abundance of caution, because we are unable to verify the authenticity of the glasses received from the third party vendor, we are advising individuals to NOT use these glasses for any purpose.”
Glasses distributed by the Library prior to August 9th were procured through Star_Net and are certified to meet ISO standards. Star_Net is part of the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning and provides activities, programming and training to public libraries nationwide. Citizens wishing to verify that they received Star_Net glasses may look for the Star_Net name on the exterior of the glasses. More information about glasses obtained through Star_Net may be found at http://www.starnetlibraries.org/2017eclipse/.
NASA and the American Astronomical Society have been urging solar gazers to use only authentic solar eclipse glasses engineered by reputable vendors as those glasses will block 100,000 times more light than ordinary sunglasses. Even brief, unprotected glimpses, or glimpses through fake eclipse glasses, of the sun can cause blurry vision or blindness.
The Fauquier County Public Library continues to attempt to verify the authenticity of the solar eclipse glasses distributed between August 9 and August 14. If the authenticity is verified the Library will update its information on this issue on its website. Individuals wishing to check for updates should check https://fauquierlibrary.org/.
A photo of the affected, non-verified glasses, is below.
Answers to frequently asked questions are available here.
Lisa Pavlock, Public Information Coordinator
(540) 422-8518 (o)
(540) 272-0241 (c)