Amazon says it's contacting customers who may have bought defective knockoff glasses on its website thinking they could protect their eyes during the upcoming total solar eclipse.

The company is also issuing refunds and removing listings for some of the glasses, but did not say which brands.

A statement from Amazon on the weekend only said some of the glasses "may not comply with industry standards."

"The American Astronomical Society says even glasses that come with a stamp claiming they meet ISO (International Organization for Standardization) safety requirements may be fakes.

To clear up any confusion, the organization has issued a list of verfied vendors and websites that sell proper light-filtering eclipse glasses, as well as hand-held viewers.

However, a note on the society's website says people who bought fakes may not be able to replace them with genuine glasses in time for next Monday's event.

Solar eclipse

Amazon says it has contacted and issued refunds to some customers who purchased glasses to watch the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse that 'may not comply with industry standards.' (Exploratorium/NASA)

The AAS says most vendors are sold out and directs enthusiasts to its pinhole projection page for other ways to enjoy the partial phases of the eclipse.

Skywatchers may also try buying filters from a science store, museum, science centre or trusted astronomy group.

It's dangerous to look directly at an eclipse without proper protective eyewear. This is especially true during all of the phases when the moon is only partially blocking the sun.

Canadians won't get a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 like our cousins to the south, but we'll still be treated to a beautiful partial one. As much as 80 per cent of the sun could be blocked.