RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WLTX) - Richland County councilman Jim Manning said the county is failing its citizens by handing out eclipse glasses that may not be safe.
"As a government, we have a responsibility to go above and beyond," he said. "The ones that the county purchased and gave to me to distribute do not meet all of the published criteria."
Internal documents show that the county purchased 10,000 eclipse glasses from the company Everything Branded. NASA and the American Astronomical Society approved 10 eclipse glasses manufacturers.
"Who we got the glasses from isn't on the list," Manning said.
The glasses are also missing a very important piece of information.
"It should have the name of the company and the address on the glasses. Ours didn't have that," he said.
Manning even had a statement notarized stating, "Administration has failed to adequately address the issue."
Despite the controversy, the Richland County Public Information office sent out an email Thursday saying they were sticking with their glasses.
"Richland County wants residents to feel confident about the safety of the glasses they wear for eclipse viewing and encourages members of the public who have concerns to seek other options for eclipse glasses," the statement read.
Related: There's No Cure For Eye Damage From The Eclipse
We emailed, called and texted Public Information Director Beverly Harris asking who the manufacturer was. She never responded. We also visited her office, but a secretary said she was busy. We were unable to reach Everything Branded's New York office, but we did learn that a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student group also bought glasses from Everything Branded. The school said they spoke with the company over the phone.
"Everything Branded recommended that the glasses not be used in any circumstances because of the safety questions," a university press release read.
The bottom line is that you want to be certain.
"If you're not sure your glasses are safe than you shouldn't be using them," said Manning.
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