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Friday, October 26, 2007

When Ohio Eyes Are Scary: State Officials Call Cops On Costume Contacts

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- The Ohio Optical Dispensers' Board is in court around the state against businesses selling decorative contact lenses that have become a Halloween craze. Pop 'em in and walk around with snake eyes. Or demon peepers. They come in all kinds of colors and designs and add flair to a costume. But state officials contend they are a health hazard, and warn they could cause eye damage including blindness.
Sue Altmeyer at the Cleveland Law Library Weblog has compiled quite a bit of information about the state's crackdown, which began a week before Halloween. Officials say nobody should buy contact lenses without a prescription. The businesses that were hit with injunctions to halt the sales are in Athens, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.

Sherry Williams, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness Ohio, called the cosmetic contacts "black market lenses" and warns of risks:
"Colored or decorative non-corrective contact lenses have become a popular element of Halloween costumes. While these devices can add a fun flourish to a costume, they can also result in devastating eye infections, scarring, even blindness. Prevent Blindness Ohio cautions that contact lenses should never be purchased without a current prescription or without the guidance of a licensed eye care professional."

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