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Solar Eclipse, Amazon Recall

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Alibaba is still listing these for sale, while Amazon has issued a recall.


The packaging lists a UV400 rating, and having worn them indoors, a 100 watt light bulb is not visible. Outdoors, the sun appears as a somewhat a bright circle on an otherwise darkened background. In conversation with an individual who has had some experience in welding, the experience was somewhat reminiscent of wearing number 14 welding eyewear protection.

Given the short notice, and the spike in prices for authenticated eye protection (read a once in a 99 year window opportunity to generate an artificial shortage to create what is described as a 'black market' in this commodity), combined with couching terms about these glasses "may" or "might" be unsafe, along with others suppliers that have been determined to be counterfeit, it raises the specter of a popular selling item being used as a foil to divert more monies into a last minute market.

I don't know what the company paid for their lot. They combined it with a 1/2 hour "party" centered around the time of the  eclipse, and earmarking the markup ($5.00 a pair) toward a currently focused upon charitable cause. With the eclipse less than 4 days away, and all the locally suggested brick and mortar establishments being  out of stock, this turned into a research project to ascertain whether the $10 should be reclaimed by turning in the glasses and missing the direct viewing opportunity, or if there is more here than meets the eye.

So far, the searches have been centered on how the recall has been couched by the various news media outlets (only a few of them showing this pair of glasses specifically.) Moving the search into the UV400 category, there is a NASA link touting "One of the most widely available filters for safe solar viewing is a number 14 welder's glass, available through welding supply outlets."

The eclipse is going to occur over the course of about 20 minutes. I've no intention of staring that the phenomenon for the entire duration. Part of that time will be spent without the extra protection on observing just how much an 80% coverage impacts the general viewing area.

On reconfirming that these glasses are, in essence, as dark as a welder's shield, I intend to use them accordingly at this point in this particular juncture.. If anyone asks, all I can tell them is that I did my own research to the best of my ability. C'est la vie.

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Additional testing was done this evening with a green laser light. The 532 nanometer beam of light does not pass through the UV400 claimed lens. Two further discovered tests cannot be done without an appropriate UV and Infrared meters. While metering equipment exists, acquiring them this late in the game is not a viable option. Current weather predictions are partly cloudy for Monday, potentially rendering this exercise a moot point.

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