Councilman Questions If Richland Co. Eclipse Glasses Are Certified

Everyone should make sure they have certified gear.

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO)– One Richland County member is concerned that the solar eclipse glasses Richland County has been giving out are not properly certified and won’t protect your eyes.

“Because right now I’m worried about people’s eyes,” Jim Manning said, a Richland County councilmember. 


It’s true, the Richland County solar eclipse glasses are not certified by NASA. But they are certified by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). And if you go to NASA’S website to find a list of certified manufacturers,  they refer you to AAS’s list of reputable glasses. However, for some, it still raises red flags.


“No one should use the solar eclipse glasses that have the Richland County logo on them,” Manning said. 


According to Richland County, they ordered 10 thousand solar eclipse glasses with the county seal and logo on them. The glasses have the ISO Certification number on the inside of them:  number 12312-2. Each council member was given about 500 of them to distribute.


Councilman Seth Rose: I was concerned about the slippery slope and putting taxpayers dollars at risk should something happen and we be found liable. And so when you pose that question to me, that’s the question I posed when this issue came up whether to purchase these or not. And so, I will not be wearing them. Obviously, I would just say anyone who does plan on wearing them needs to make sure they do their homework to make sure this is right for their family,” Seth Rose said, Richland County councilmember said. 


Councilman Manning said he looked over the report and says the ISO certification tests were done on the plastic type of glasses, so not on the same model Richland County ordered. AAS says the glasses manufactured by Solar Eclipse International have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO international safety standard.


“You know, they’re not NASA scientists, and this really is rocket science… and they’re not rocket scientists,” Manning said. 


Richland County said they want residents to be confident about the glasses they wear for eclipse viewing and says if the public is concerned about the Richland County issued ones, you can seek other options for eclipse glasses. 

AAS said you should not be able to see anything through your glasses except the Sun itself or something comparably bright, like the Sun reflected in a mirror or a sunglint off shiny metal. If you can see shaded lamps or other household light fixtures that are not bare bulbs through your eclipse glasses and you are not sure the product came from a reputable vendor, then they are not safe.

To make sure you have a certified pair of eclipse glasses you can go to our website, ABC Columbia-dot-com and find a link to a list of reputable manufacturers.

Below are both NASA and AAS’s websites so you can check to see if your solar eclipse glasses are certified:


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