Free eclipse glasses from Metro’s Lentz Health Center not safe for viewing eclipse

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – If you got solar eclipse glasses from the Metro Public Health Department’s Lentz Health Center, do not use them for viewing the sun on Aug. 21.

On Tuesday, News 2 discovered the glasses are not strong enough to protect your eyes. Reporter Andy Cordan tried out the glasses and found he could see light through the lenses. He alerted the health department immediately.

A spokesman for the health department says they gave away 500 pairs. Officials are now concerned these glasses are not strong enough for directly looking at the sun and they are asking people to throw them away.

Health department spokesman Brian Todd says they ordered the glasses from a supplier who said they were appropriate for viewing the eclipse. When asked for more information Tuesday, the vendor supplied documentation that the glasses had a certification of ISO 12312-1.

Health officials now say only glasses with the ISO 12312-2 certification provide enough eye protection for direct observation of the sun.

(Photo: WKRN)

If you need to purchase another pair, eclipse glasses might be hard to find throughout Middle Tennessee. On Monday, we called several retailers to ask how many were in stock and turned up empty-handed.

As for online purchases, be careful if you buy from Amazon. The company recalled thousands of pairs after the package has CE and ISO certifications on it, but on the inside of the glasses there aren’t any numbers.

NASA recommends only using glasses with ISO 12312-2 printed on them that have been manufactured by the four following companies: American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

RELATED: NASA says unsafe eclipse glasses being distributed

MORE: What kind of glasses do you need to view the eclipse safely?

Visit wkrn.com/eclipse for all the resources and information you need.