Total Eclipse of Anxiety: How ISO Can Calm Your Fears

Next week’s solar eclipse is all the buzz. But while most Americans are reading up on the science behind the eclipse and fixing their eyes on the sky, we here at ARMATURE are thinking about solar glasses and safety.

As a company that provides quality management software to manufacturers, we take a special interest in safety and compliance. Our software is designed to ensure compliance with industry standards, so we’re quite familiar with the heavy hitters such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485, and CFR Title 21. But even though we deal with standards on a daily basis, we rarely stop and reflect on how important they are to our everyday well-being.

Events like the solar eclipse provide us with an opportunity to do just that—in the wake of counterfeit glasses and false marketing claims, ISO 12312-2 offers consumers a way to join in the fun while protecting themselves from harm.

ISO 12312-2 Offers Viewers Peace of Mind

There’s a dark side to the solar eclipse that has some of us on edge. While we’re looking forward to this awe-inspiring event, we can’t help but worry about the potential for eye injury. What if the glasses we bought are counterfeit, or have been suddenly recalled? Sure, we can try to make our own pinhole projectors with help from NASA, but the sun is awfully strong and we fear making a mistake that could cause irreparable harm to our eyesight.

This is where the power of ISO standards shines brightest. ISO 12312-2 is the international standard that governs all afocal (plano power) products intended for direct observation of the sun. This powerful standard requires the manufacturers who produce solar glasses to include a filter that reduces the sun’s brightness to a safe level—dulling the sun’s glare to a full moon-like softness. The filters in ISO 12312-2 accredited solar glasses also block harmful ultraviolet and infrared radiation, and are about 100,000 times darker than ordinary sunglasses.

These ISO-accredited glasses are definitely the ones you want to wear on Monday while the sun and moon do their celestial dance.

Did You Buy Your Glasses from the Reputable Vendors List?

The American Astronomical Society has assembled a list of reputable vendors of solar filters and viewers, offering another way for anxious viewers everywhere to calm their nerves.

If you’ve purchased solar glasses already, double check that your brand appears on this list of approved vendors—this way, you’ll know that your glasses have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 standard.

And that’s what it’s all about. When you know that you (and your family) are safe, you can give yourself permission to experience this world phenomenon. When we look up at the sky on Monday, we’ll be thinking of the quality-minded manufacturers and standards developers who have made our safety a priority, with hearts full of gratitude.

Thanks, ISO!