“Eclipsed” by the Law
As the rest of the country eagerly awaits the first total solar eclipse since 1979 on Monday, August 21, South Floridians are looking forward to our own view of a partial 2017 solar eclipse — (about 75%). This magnificent event is causing a craze among stargazers, due to the fact that the next total solar eclipse over North America will not happen again until April 2024. As captivating as the phenomenon is, it has not “eclipsed” concerns about legal responsibility and liability. School boards and companies have taken precautionary measures ahead of the spectacle, with many agencies warning the public (and rightfully so) to prevent permanent eye damage or blindness by wearing medically approved eyewear before viewing the solar eclipse.
A More Exciting (Yet Concerning) First Day of School
Unfortunately, the 2017 solar eclipse coincides with the first day of school for most South Florida public schools. Taking note of the safety and liability issues at hand, school authorities nationwide are implementing measures to protect their students from possible eye damage. Local Broward County Public Schools have already cancelled all outdoor activities and have asked parents to speak with their children regarding the potential for eye damage related to looking directly at the sun without proper protection. They are also concerned about the possible threat of distracted drivers to children crossing the street. While this is certainly an exciting time, administrators are focused on their duty to ensure the safety of curious students who want to observe the eclipse taking place.
Amazon Pulls Counterfeit Glasses from Their Listings
Concerned with the possibility of life-changing permanent eye damage, Amazon has decided to recall any products sold that have not met the safety standards set by governing agencies such as the American Astronomical Society (AAS). It appears that Amazon previously allowed sellers to distribute the solar eclipse viewers using their platform, without performing any safety checks. Amazon is being accused of making “the problem worse,” according to the AAS spokesperson, by recalling glasses already approved by their organization, and thus reducing the already scarce supply of safety glasses. Either way, there is a real possibility that counterfeit glasses are still in circulation and we encourage everyone to do their due diligence to confirm that their products meet the safety standards and approved vendors list provided by the AAS.
Please, enjoy the eclipse, but do so SAFELY!
From the trenches,