Halloween Stores Selling Banned & Hazardous Novelty Contact Lenses


October 29, 2013

Halloween costumes, makeup and accessories are becoming increasingly sophisticated and realistic, but one popular new trend for aspiring monsters and zombies could pose a serious risk for unsuspecting users. Many young people are using nonprescription contact lenses with various colors and patterns. Despite the availability of these contact lenses in Halloween stores, it is illegal to sell these Halloween accessories because they are so dangerous according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because these non-fitted contacts, which can imitate cat eyes, zombie eyes and many other patterns are so popular with teenagers, our experienced Georgia defective product attorneys at Montlick and Associates want to make sure that parents are aware of the dangers associated with their use, despite their widespread availability.

Although specialty contact lenses that are colored or have patterns are not inherently dangerous, they constitute a medical device that is regulated by the FDA. Those who wish to wear colored contacts should obtain them from an eye doctor who can properly fit the contacts as opposed to generic "one size fits all" contacts in a novelty store. When beauty salons, street vendors and seasonal costume stores sell these contacts without a medical examination by an eye doctor or valid prescription, they are violating federal law and putting consumers at-risk according to the FDA.

There are a number of potential risks associated with wearing novelty contacts that have not been prescribed by a qualified ophthalmologist or optometrist. One potential risk is that the consumer will not be provided with proper instructions on the use and care of the contacts which can lead to damage to the eye and infections. Another potential risk is that the consumer cannot be sure that the materials and design of the contact are safe. Some contacts that are sold in Halloween stores and distributed by other businesses without authority to prescribe medical devices employ dangerous dyes or other chemicals that threaten the health of the user's eye. These chemicals and unsafe dyes can cause conjunctivitis ("pink eye") or even blindness.

The final risk associated with obtaining novelty contacts from someone other than an eye doctor is that the contacts are not fitted to the consumer's eye. Despite the fact that these contacts are sold in a "one size fits all" form, contacts are not universal in terms of their fit. When an eye doctor prescribes contact lens, the medical professional will measure the cornea, which coats the colored part of a person's eye. This measurement will allow the eye doctor to prescribe contact lenses with the proper curve and diameter. Contacts that are too large or too small can causes serious damage to the eye.

Although the FDA prohibited the sale of these over-the-counter lenses in 2005, a 2012 article in the medical journal Cornea reported that use of these non-prescription lenses by those with no medical need has recently surged. When Halloween supply stores, beauty shops, novelty stores and other busineses sale unsafe prohibited medical devices that cause injury to a consumer, such as serious eye infections, diseases of the eye, impaired vision or blindness, the business may be liable for selling the banned unsafe product. Further, the businesses that design, manufacture, wholesale or distribute unsafe medical devices like over-the-counter contact lenses also may be liable for damages based on product liability law.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work For You

We urge parents to warn their children about the potential dangers of these popular Halloween accessories so that our friends, neighbors and community members and their children enjoy a safe Halloween. Our Atlanta injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been helping injury victims and their families for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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