The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has notified the Wausau Fire Department through the U.S. Fire Administration that millions of Americans may be at risk if anyone looks at the solar eclipse without proper eye wear.

Millions of Americans will watch the coverage of the solar eclipse and may have already purchased eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. Some of these people may be at risk from counterfeit glasses and viewers sold by disreputable vendors trying to cash in on this rare event, according to a city of Wausau news release issued Tuesday.

Watching the eclipse with fake protective gear can cause permanent eye damage, making this a community risk reduction issue.

Only glasses and viewers verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet ISO 12312-2 are safe to use when viewing the eclipse. This standard requires glasses and viewers to be thousands of times darker than typical sunglasses.

It may be hard to tell the difference between genuine protective gear and fake glasses/viewers as some counterfeit makers are placing ISO labels on them. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has guidance to help eclipse watchers determine if their eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers are safe. In addition, NASA recommends that eclipse watchers refer to the AAS’s website for a list of reputable vendors selling solar glasses and viewers.

Resources regarding these counterfeit glasses can be found here:

The solar eclipse will be seen on August 21, 2017.