Photo: US Government Artwork
WASHINGTON - Think twice before you buy colored, decorative contact lenses to go with your Halloween costume. Federal officials are warning consumers about the medical risks with non-prescription contacts that can include eye injury and even blindness.
Federal officials released a consumer warning in August, and on Wednesday announced a joint operation "to seize counterfeit contact lenses, illegally imported decorative lenses, and lenses unapproved by the FDA."
The lenses - which can often be found in Halloween or novelty shops, salons, beauty supply stores and online - are being sold illegally if a prescription is not a requirement for purchase.
"Even though Halloween approaches, consumers shouldn't let a good deal or great costume blind them to the dangers of counterfeit decorative contact lenses," said Homeland Security Investigations Executive Associate Director James Dinkins in a press release. "What's truly scary is the damage these counterfeit lenses can do to your eyes for a lifetime."
You can legally purchase decorative lenses from businesses that can fill your eye prescription to make the lenses for you.
"Operation Double Vision" is a joint effort among the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is being coordinated by the ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) in Washington.
The FDA's consumer warning provides information on what illegal colored contacts can do to your eyes, and how you can safely purchase decorative lenses: http://on9news.tv/1eNS8br
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