Amazon Recalls "Unverified" Solar Eclipse Filters

Next week will be quite a show. Even before Samsung unveils its Galaxy Note 8, Google will supposedly finally launch and name Android 8.0 "O". The latter, if true, will coincide with a historic event that, pardon the pun, eclipses the other technology-specific occasions. But before the solar eclipse party could even get started, Amazon sent out notices recalling eclipse glasses it formerly sold on its store, citing concerns about the certification, and therefore safety, of this spectacles.

Total solar eclipses are rare in themselves, but the one happening next Monday is even rarer. It is the first in almost a century when the eclipse will be viewable from coast to coast in the US, covering 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina. The last time that happened was way back in 1918. Naturally, there has been a lot of fuss about this astronomical (in both senses) event, and not a few causes for confusion.

There are quite a good number of eclipses glasses being sold on Amazon, but a few buyers have reported receiving emails from the retailer urging them to send back the items for a refund or, at the very least, not to use them next week. According to Amazon, it is issuing the recall due to concerns that not all glasses claim to be what they are. That is, not all of them are properly certified by standards organization for use.

That is no small matter, not unlike but perhaps even more serious than recalls over hoverboards. Inadequate protection from staring at the eclipse could cause immediate and permanent damage to the eyes. Amazon says it is exercising an "abundance of caution" in the matter, which consumers would probably appreciate.

Unfortunately, the case isn't as clear cut, especially for sellers who suddenly saw their products labeled as "unverified" even after enjoying some time on Amazon's virtual shelves. While the sellers themselves might be legit, the sources for their lenses and glasses might not be. At least that's the shadow of doubt that Amazon is casting on the suppliers of these filters. Considering how sellers of these products have experience a huge surge in sales due to the eclipse, it is understandable that they are crying foul over the whole affair.