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AG Issues Warning on Decorative Contact Lenses for Halloween

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today cautioned consumers about the dangers of wearing decorative contact lenses for Halloween costuming or cosmetic reasons. The decorative lenses, also marketed as “costume,” “fashion” or “colored” lenses, pose potential serious risks to eye health, including infections and loss of vision.

Before buying decorative lenses, the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division (CPD) recommends the following precautions:

  • Always visit a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist for proper fitting of cosmetic contact lenses.
  • Never buy contact lenses without a prescription; Texas law does not exempt cosmetic lenses from the prescription requirement.
  • Buy contact lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription, whether you purchase in person or online.
  • Avoid buying lenses from street vendors, convenience and dollar stores, flea markets and novelty stores.

Last month, the attorney general’s office obtained settlements with 21 San Antonio-area convenience and dollar stores for selling contact lenses without prescriptions. Store owners agreed to pay $50,000 in civil penalties and attorney fees, and to permanently stop selling the lenses.

CPD is charged with enforcing a variety of state and federal consumer protection laws. Consumers in the state have received hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds, services, debt forgiveness or loan restructuring because of the work of the division. In addition to penalties and restitution, CPD has collected millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees, which have saved taxpayer dollars by helping to replenish funds allotted to the division’s mission to protect consumers.

CPD also receives and reviews complaints submitted to the office by consumers; while the attorney general is prohibited from representing such individuals, these complaints are used by the office to help shape priorities and identify issues affecting Texans. Consumers can file complaints by visiting: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/file-a-consumer-complaint

Information provided by Texas AG’s office.

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