Richland Co. councilman questions the safety of eclipse glasses handed out by the county

Richland Co. councilman questions the safety of eclipse glasses handed out by the county

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A Richland County councilman is sounding the alarm on eclipse glasses he says are unsafe, and they're being provided by Richland County.

Richland County is providing 10,000 pairs of eclipse glasses, but after concerns were raised if the glasses they purchased were NASA-approved, they did additional research.

Now, county officials say the glasses are safe, but one county representative says he's still not so sure and he wants no part of the glasses.

"Richland County should not be passing out the glasses," says county councilman, Jim Manning.

"I started having concerns over the weekend. I was watching a story on WIS with an ophthalmologist who was showing two pairs of glasses and the ones that he was saying, 'don't use,' looked like the ones from the county."

He said he became alarmed after hearing reports that the wrong glasses could mean permanent eye damage.

"That isn't when I first had a concern. That is when I became alarmed. So, I started researching it because retina damage, from everything I hear and see, is very, very serious," Manning said.

He says he expressed his concerns with other county members.

"As of right now, I have not had a response," Manning said. "They will not answer this council member."

He says he questions the county's additional research and the safety of the glasses.

"Now, when I represent 1/11th of the county, I take that very serious," says Manning.

And when he was given 500 pairs of the glasses to distribute on behalf of the county, "I took mine back and I went the legal department and I had attorneys and I had it notarized. Councilman Jim Manning did everything to protect the citizens that elected him."

The county declined our request for comment.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.