Seattle eye doctor's office recalls solar eclipse glasses

KING 5's Heather Graf reports

On the heels of Amazon issuing a major recall for solar eclipse glasses, a Seattle eye doctor's office is now doing the same.

Roosevelt Vision put out a recall and safety alert after learning some of the protective eyewear they sold might not be safe.

"I think patients are really concerned and confused, and we're concerned too.  We want to make sure patients aren't going to do anything that would harm their eyes," said Optical Manager Desiree Hanhy.

Millions of people are planning to watch the solar eclipse on August 21.  Many have ordered special glasses that allow eclipse viewers to look at the sun without risking damage to their eyes.  But proper glasses are crucial.

The Roosevelt Vision recall notice sent out to patients reads as follows:

"We regret to inform you that our office received confirmation this weekend that one of the vendors we use was unable to verify the safety for 132 of the 400 solar eclipse glasses supplied to us.  Although they are stamped as "ISO Certified", we were unable to obtain data from our vendor proving that they are.  Safety of our patients and their vision is of the utmost importance to us and out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that you do not use these eclipse sunglasses.  We are offering a full refund to any patient who purchased this product from us."

Roosevelt Vision started selling the eclipse glasses about six weeks ago, for $3 per pair.

Recent concerns about possible fake eclipse glasses prompted the staff to do some more digging, to confirm the validity of the glasses they'd gotten from three different vendors.

"We were able to obtain verification from two of the three vendors we used, that the solar eclipse glasses were valid and safe for use," said Hanhy.  "But we do have one vendor that we've not been able to verify.  And as a result our office has been really proactive and we've let our patients who purchased them know that they may or may not be safe to use.  We really don't know."

Only 132 of the roughly 400 pairs of glasses Roosevelt Vision sold were made by that vendor.  But Hanhy said the office has no way to track which patients bought and took home those particular glasses.

"In our system, we're not able to differentiate who purchased which product," she said.  "We don't have a way to know who has received a product that's safe and who received a product that potentially is not."

For that reason, they recommend that anyone who bought eclipse glasses from Roosevelt Vision either throw them out or return them for a full refund.

They're also directing customers to check out this list of NASA approved vendors.

Hanhy said they've been flooded with phone calls and emails from concerned patients since the recall went out and are working hard to answer patient questions.

"The entire conversation we had between the supervisors in the clinic and the doctors in the clinic was that we have to do what's best for the patient, and we have to let them know that these are not safe or may not be safe.  And we can't verify if they are or not, so we felt it was in the best interest of the patients to tell them not to use the solar eclipse glasses."

For more on the importance of using proper eclipse glasses on August 21, click here.

Millions of people are planning to watch the total solar eclipse on August 21, planning elaborate vacations in the path of totality and ordering special glasses that let viewers look at the sun without damaging their eyes. 

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