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Safety precautions for viewing solar eclipse

By Brad Perry Mar 18, 2024 | 11:00 AM

New Brunswickers are being urged to take precautions to avoid vision damage during the much-anticipated solar eclipse.

The path of totality for the April 8 eclipse will go right through New Brunswick, which will have many people looking up.

However, the Department of Health said the event also poses risks to the public’s health, particularly their eye health.

“Looking directly at the eclipse, without the proper eye protection, could potentially lead to permanent damage or possibly even blindness,” said Dr. Yves Léger, the province’s acting chief medical officer of health.

Léger said wearing regular sunglasses, or using your phone or an unfiltered camera, will not be good enough and could be unsafe.

You should use certified solar eclipse glasses in accordance with ISO 12312-2:2015 and follow the directions that come with the special eyewear.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists website has more safety information and a link to a list of reputable vendors for certified solar eclipse glasses.

There are also other ways to view the eclipse safely, said Léger, such as using a pinhole camera. You can learn how to make one on the Canadian Space Agency website.

If you plan on attending one of the many events to mark the solar eclipse, the top doctor said you should consider the risks and take the necessary precautions to be safe.

The eclipse is expected to begin shortly after 3 p.m. with totality being observed at around 4:30 p.m.