What kind of eclipse glasses you need and where to get them

ST. LOUIS – The total solar eclipse is only 12 days away, and now is the time to get your eyewear. Many locations across the St. Louis metro area are giving them away, but some are on a first-come, first-served basis.

The path of totality on April 8 stretches from Texas, tailing all the way up through Maine. While St. Louis is not directly in the path, locals will still be able to experience a near-total solar eclipse.

While watching the eclipse, protecting your eyes is the most important detail to be on top of. Glancing at the sun, even for a short moment, can cause extensive damage.

“You can have short-term or long-term damage…it’s actually a thermal burn, so it can actually burn the retina, which is in the very center of your vision,” Dr. Kayla Campbell, president of the West Virginia Association of Optometric Physicians, said. “So, it’s typically central vision loss that your’re gonna have.”

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The types of glasses you need are certified ISO eclipse viewing glasses. The transmittance requirements should read ISO 12312-2.

St. Louis Public Library locations are giving away certified eclipse glasses during operating hours. There is a limit of one pair per person, while supplies last.

The St. Louis Science Center will be giving away glasses starting April 6 with their SciFest program. Throughout the day, families can speak with local STEM professionals from the St. Louis area to learn about the eclipse.

Beginning April 1, Warby Parker locations will also be handing out free eclipse glasses.

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