Some JCPS schools scrambling for solar eclipse glasses after Ama - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Some JCPS schools scrambling for solar eclipse glasses after Amazon safety recall

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- At least three schools and dozens of teachers in Louisville are scrambling to find glasses for students to view next week's solar eclipse after purchasing glasses from Amazon that have been recalled for safety reasons.

Officials at Jeffersontown, Alex Kennedy and Okolona elementary schools, as well as individual teachers at other schools purchased the glasses from various vendors through Amazon a few weeks ago for their students so they can can view the Aug. 21 eclipse with the right protection

On Friday, some of them received an email from Amazon regarding "important safety information about the eclipse products you purchased." 

"To protect your eyes when viewing the sun or an eclipse, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) advise you to use solar eclipse glasses or other solar filters from recommended manufacturers," the email reads. "Viewing the sun or an eclipse using any other glasses or filters could result in loss of vision or permanent blindness."

According to parents and teachers who contacted WDRB, the lens caps did have the proper ISO number, 12312-2, which has been verified to comply with the correct safety standards. However,  Amazon has not been able to confirm with the supplier that they came from a recommended manufacturer, the email states.

"We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse," the email concludes by saying it will credit the customer's account or offer a full refund for recalled products.

Jeffersontown Elementary School principal Brooke Schilling says her school's PTA purchased enough glasses for the entire school.

"We are one of many schools who purchased solar eclipse glasses through Amazon and have been impacted by the recall," Schilling said. "While it puts us in a position of not knowing how will we proceed, we are very thankful for the notification from Amazon."

Schilling says JCPS has provided schools guidance on how to proceed, "keeping safety as our primary focus."

"I think this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to experience this," she said. "There is a lot of educational components, it's very hands-on and relevant to what's happening around us." 

Schilling says if her school is able to get the correct glasses in time for the eclipse, they will have a school-wide viewing, but with time running out, she's not sure that will be possible.

"If we don't get the glasses, we have a plan for our students to view it through the media," she said.

The Great American Eclipse will cross from Oregon to South Carolina -- and unless you are in the path of full totality, which Louisville is not, you'll have to use eclipse glasses for the entire event. 

As VisionWorks' Dr. Richard Gersh explains, the moon will cover the sun by 96 percent in Louisville.

"We won't get the total eclipse here, but we'll get most of it," Gersh told WDRB News last week. "It will be almost dark, but there will be a little sliver of light. That's all you need to get burnt. You don't need much."

Without the proper eyewear, it's enough to cause permanent damage to your eyes.

The American Astronomical Society requires manufacturers to give proof of meeting ISO standards and a list of authorized re-sellers. Stores selling the certified classes include Kroger, Walmart and more than a dozen websites.

To make sure you don't buy any fakes, the AAS' entire list of reputable vendors and manufacturers can be found here.

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