Are ISO 12312-2 Solar Eclipse glasses Safe?
When it comes to viewing a solar eclipse, the paramount concern is always safety. The Sun, our brilliant daytime star, emits not only visible light but also potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation. Directly gazing at the Sun without proper protection can lead to severe eye injuries, even blindness.
Eclipse Glasses and Their Purpose
Special-purpose solar filters, commonly known as “eclipse glasses” or “eclipse shades,” are designed exclusively for direct viewing of the everyday Sun. These filters significantly reduce sunlight to ensure it’s safe for our eyes. They are many thousands of times darker than your regular sunglasses. The primary purpose of these glasses is to block the harmful UV and IR radiation while allowing you to enjoy the celestial event safely.
Recognizing Genuine ISO 12312-2 Certified Glasses
The key to ensuring the safety of your eclipse glasses is to verify that they meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. This certification ensures that the glasses not only reduce visible sunlight to safe levels but also effectively block harmful solar UV and IR radiation.
However, with the rise of counterfeit products in the market, merely spotting the ISO logo isn’t enough. It’s crucial to ensure that your glasses come from a trustworthy manufacturer or their authorized dealers.
How to Check Your Glasses
A genuinely safe solar viewer will allow you to see only the Sun or something comparably bright. If you can see common household lights through your glasses, they might not be safe. The Sun should appear comfortably bright, in focus, and surrounded by a dark sky when viewed through a genuine solar filter. If it appears too bright or surrounded by a haze, the glasses might not be up to the mark.
Our Commitment to Safety
We understand the importance of safety, and that’s why all our eclipse glasses and those from our suppliers meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standards. We ensure that our products undergo rigorous testing and verification processes before they reach you.
Maintaining Your Eclipse Glasses
To get the best experience:
- Ensure your glasses are in good condition. If they are torn, scratched, or coming loose from their frames, it’s best to discard them.
- If your glasses meet the ISO 12312-2:2015 standard and are in good condition, you can reuse them indefinitely. Some glasses might come with warnings about usage duration, but if they’re ISO 12312-2:2015 compliant, such warnings can be disregarded.
What to Avoid
Homemade filters, ordinary sunglasses, and other makeshift solutions are not safe for viewing the Sun. Even if they seem to dim the Sun, they might not protect against the full spectrum of harmful radiation. Welding filters can be an option, but only those of Shade 12 or higher are safe for direct viewing. However, for a more natural and pleasing view of the Sun, it’s best to stick with special-purpose solar viewers.
The beauty of a solar eclipse is something everyone should experience. However, safety should never be compromised. By ensuring that your eclipse glasses meet the ISO 12312-2 standards, you can enjoy this celestial event without any worries.
FAQ: Safe Eclipse Viewing with Certified Glasses
Navigating the world of eclipse viewing can be filled with questions, especially when it comes to ensuring the safety of your eyes. Below, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to guide you through the essentials of using certified eclipse glasses for a secure and mesmerizing experience.
1. What is the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard?
The ISO 12312-2 standard is a set of criteria that eclipse glasses must meet to ensure they safely reduce visible sunlight and block harmful UV and IR radiation. Glasses that meet this standard provide a safe way to directly view the Sun.
2. Why can’t I use regular sunglasses to view the eclipse?
Regular sunglasses, even very dark ones, do not provide adequate protection against the Sun’s harmful UV and IR radiation. While they might reduce the Sun’s glare, they don’t block the harmful radiation, which can lead to severe eye injuries.
3. How can I verify if my eclipse glasses are genuine?
Genuine eclipse glasses should have the ISO 12312-2 certification clearly marked on them. However, due to the rise of counterfeits, it’s also essential to ensure they come from a reputable manufacturer or their authorized dealers.
4. Can I reuse my eclipse glasses for future solar events?
Yes, if your glasses are compliant with the ISO 12312-2:2015 standard and are not damaged (scratched, torn, or coming loose from their frames), you can reuse them indefinitely for future solar viewings.
5. I’ve seen welding filters being used to view eclipses. Are they safe?
Only welding filters of Shade 12 or higher are safe for direct solar viewing. However, for a more natural and pleasing view of the Sun, special-purpose solar viewers are recommended.
6. Can I use my eclipse glasses over my regular prescription glasses?
Yes, you can wear eclipse glasses over your regular prescription glasses. Ensure they sit securely and cover your eyes entirely for safe viewing.
7. Can I use eclipse glasses to view the Sun through a telescope or binoculars?
No, eclipse glasses are designed for direct viewing of the Sun. When using telescopes, binoculars, or cameras, you need special solar filters designed for those devices.
8. How long can I safely look at the Sun with eclipse glasses?
If your glasses meet the ISO 12312-2:2015 standard, you can look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun for as long as you wish. Ensure the glasses are in good condition and fit securely over your eyes.
9. What should I do if I suspect my eclipse glasses are not safe?
If you doubt the safety of your glasses, it’s best not to use them. Instead, seek glasses from a reputable source or use alternative safe methods, like pinhole projectors, to view the eclipse.
10. Are there other safe methods to view a solar eclipse without glasses?
Yes, you can use a pinhole projector, which allows you to see a projected image of the eclipse without looking directly at the Sun. This method is safe and easy to set up.
Remember, safety first! Always ensure you’re using the right protective gear when viewing any solar event.