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Conn. AG demands end to unlicensed sale of non-corrective contacts

By Nick Rees | Apr 5, 2010

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has ordered two retailer and a pair of distributors to stop their illegal sale of non-corrective cosmetic contact lenses.

The lenses, which, under state law, can only be sold to consumers by licensed eye care professionals, change or enhance eye color.

"These lenses may be tainted as well as tinted," Blumenthal said. "To protect their sight, consumers seeking cosmetic contact lenses should consult an eye care professional."

Blumenthal sent letters to 7-Eleven Inc., ExxonMobil, Wholesale Club and AAA Discount to demand an end to the sale of the lenses. The letters also seek information on past sales, distribution and any lens-related lawsuits. Blumenthal has also demanded that consumers requesting refunds be given them.

The lenses were found for sale in Hartford, Conn., by Blumenthal's investigators, who were also notified that they were being sold in West Hartfrod at an ExxonMobil Station. The investigators also learned that Wholesale Club and AAA Discount, the two distributors, sold the lenses to non-eye care professional retailers in Connecticut.

"Improperly used cosmetic contact lenses can cause serious and severe injury -- infections, corneal damage, even blindness," Blumenthal said. "Sale of cosmetic contact lenses by non-professionals is illegal and dangerous and must cease immediately. Unlicensed retailers are breaking the law as well as putting consumers at risk of infection and vision loss. I urge consumers to shun store lenses, obtaining them instead from eye care professionals."

Blumenthal's letters, which demands an immediate sales halt of the lenses, provides the businesses seven days from the letter's receipt to provide additional information.

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