Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Demands Businesses Immediately Halt Illegal Sale Of Non-Corrective Cosmetic Contact Lenses

April 5, 2010

           Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today demanded that two retailers and two distributors immediately stop illegal sales of non-corrective cosmetic contact lenses, which under state law can only be sold to consumers by licensed eye care professionals.

          Blumenthal sent letters to 7-Eleven Inc., ExxonMobil, Wholesale Club and AAA Discount demanding they stop selling the lenses, which change or enhance eye color. He also is seeking information on past sales, distribution and any lens-related lawsuits. Blumenthal further demanded that consumers who request them be given refunds.

          Attorney General’s Office investigators found the lenses for sale in Hartford at a 7-Eleven and were notified by a consumer they were being sold in West Hartford at an ExxonMobil Station. They also learned that two distributors, Wholesale Club and AAA Discount, are selling the lenses to non-eye care professional retailers in Connecticut.

          “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.

“Improperly used cosmetic contact lenses can cause serious and severe injury -- infections, corneal damage, even blindness. 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.

          “I will act aggressively -- including court action if necessary -- to halt illegal sales and distribution of cosmetic contact lenses in Connecticut.”

          Blumenthal’s letter demands an immediate sales halt and gives the businesses seven days from receipt to provide additional information.