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Eclipse

Cardboard frames for solar eclipse glasses are stacked in the American Paper Optics factory in Bartlett, Tenn., earlier this summer.

As the countdown to Monday's total solar eclipse continues, there are more warnings about fake paper-framed protective eyewear.

Southeast Community College warned anyone who purchased eclipse glasses at its Lincoln Campus bookstore at 8800 O St. to return them for a refund.

A sign posted at the school warned purchasers "not to use them to view the eclipse."

Across the country, consumers and retailers have been struggling to identify fraudulent eclipse glasses that could cause irreversible damage to users’ eyes, the Washington Post reported.

NASA and the American Astronomical Society have assembled a list of reputable manufacturers, but they said it has been difficult to guard against copycats.

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Peru State College received an order of 7,500 eclipse glasses in July that were deemed unsafe before they were to be distributed to students.

Since then, Peru State has ordered NASA-approved replacements for its students and community members.

“The market has been overrun with counterfeits and fakes, and many of them were being sold on Amazon,” Richard Fienberg, a spokesman for the American Astronomical Society told the Post. “It’s become a complete freaking mess.”

Part of the challenge, experts say, is that the industry standard has long been to label eclipse-safe glasses with text on the inside of the frame. But now fraudsters are printing that same text into glasses that do not meet safety standards.

“It’s a simple motivation: greed,” Fienberg said.

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