PORTLAND, Ore. – On Saturday, KGW’s photography staff received an email from Amazon, explaining the solar filters the station purchased for the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse were not confirmed safe for viewing.
The lens caps had the proper ISO number, 12312-2, which has been verified to comply with international safety standards. Amazon on Saturday said the supplier could not confirm the item came from a recommended manufacturer.
“We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse,” Amazon wrote.
Many other people received similar emails from Amazon for eclipse glasses, as stores are selling out of the hot-ticket items with one week to go before the eclipse. At least a dozen KGW viewers said they received notices from Amazon Saturday.
Portland resident Dan Fellini bought a pack of four solar eclipse glasses with his wife and a friend.
“Just last night we were talking about the glasses, and thinking maybe we shouldn't trust them, even though the Amazon page made it fairly clear they were legit,” he said.
At 2:05 a.m. Fellini received an email from Amazon, recalling the glasses.
Another Portland resident, Will Clark, bought eclipse glasses billed as “CE and ISO tested, safe solar viewing.” He received a recall email Saturday morning at 7:28 a.m.
KGW viewer Heather Andersen said she bought two separate sets of solar glasses and learned both were not verified.
“I give up,” she tweeted.
Amazon is issuing full refunds.
An Amazon spokesperson said Amazon is responding "out of an abundance of caution."
"Safety is among our highest priorities. 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," the company said in a statement.
Amazon said customers who did not receive an email purchased glasses that were safe to use. The company did not reveal how many glasses were recalled or how much money was refunded.
The company said some counterfeiters are even ripping off legitimate brands so even if a customer purchased a verified product, it could be counterfeit.
Anyone who is concerned about their eclipse glasses but did not receive an email about the recall can reach out to Amazon customer service for a refund.
Amazon suggested customers refer to the NASA and AAS websites for more information about safely viewing the solar eclipse.
Approximately 1 million people are expected to travel to Oregon for the eclipse. The path of totality runs through Lincoln City, Salem, Madras and John Day.
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