Cardiff business fined for selling Halloween contact lenses
A health and beauty business in Cardiff has been fined for selling contact lenses which should have only been supplied by a registered optometrist.
January 20th, 2020
Beauty Lounge, based in Queens Arcade, Cardiff sold “zero powered Halloween contact lenses” and “Yellow Cat contact lenses” to Trading Standards Enforcement Officers during a test purchase exercise in October 2018.
The products in question were cosmetic contact lenses, which are coloured, patterned or novelty contact lenses used for a variety of purposes, such as enhancing people’s appearance, for fashion, special effects in films, fancy dress or to mask the eye. By law, they can only be supplied by, or under the supervision of, a registered optometrist, dispensing optician or medical practitioner.
A test purchase was carried out in October 2018, not long after Shared Regulatory Services had sent written advice to the business explaining the lenses were subject to a requirement to mark notice. Despite this advice, the lenses were supplied to the officers during the test purchase exercise.
The case was listed before Cardiff Magistrates Court on the 19th December 2019. A director of Candyland Ltd, which owns Beauty Lounge, attended court and pleaded guilty to one offence under Regulation 20 (4) of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 for the company and to one offence as the director.
In mitigation, the defendant claimed he had not received a letter from trading standards which contained the advice, due to the confusion with his address. The judge took into account his early guilty plea and previous clean character. Both the director and the company were fined £183 each, ordered to pay costs of £220, and a victim surcharge of £30.
Using contact lenses that are unsuitable for the eyes, or used incorrectly, can cause serious eye problems including corneal ulcers and infections. In some cases, blindness and eye loss can occur, as well as the risk of conjunctivitis, corneal swelling, allergic reactions and reduced vision.
Cllr Eddie Williams, Chair of the Joint Committee for Shared Regulatory Services said:
“This was a clear disregard for consumer safety by this business, which failed to adhere to the advice we had previously issued them about the sale of these products. The outcome of this case demonstrates our desire to ensure the public are protected from businesses that profit from practices which are unfair and potentially unsafe.”