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July 21, 2009

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Glasses sell fast as people play it safe

SOLAR eclipse glasses have sold out in local observatories, museums and professional stores.

They're still available online but you'll need to be quick to get them in time for tomorrow morning's event.

"At least 600 glasses are sold every day," said Allan Zhang, who is selling them for 15 yuan (US$ 2.20) on "We are almost out of stock and keeping ordering more from the factory."

Yesterday, the Shanghai seller was busy packing and mailing glasses already ordered.

He said that to make sure buyers got their glasses in time, he was only selling to people with a Shanghai address and not taking orders after this morning.

"The price will be much higher because I will use the special express delivery which will reach them within the day," he said.

Proper solar eclipse glasses use a solar filter material to protect eyes from visible light by making the solar image appear bluish-white due to a carefully applied coating on both sides. A pair costs from 5 yuan to 50 yuan.

Doctors warn that damage could result from viewing the eclipse with the naked eye or using sunglasses.

The Shanghai Health Bureau said that unsafe observation could burn the eyes and even cause blindness.

"It's important to go to hospital immediately if you feel a burning pain in the eyes while watching the eclipse," said Dr Wang Hong, from Shanghai Children's Medical Center.


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