Maryland governor signs law on decorative contacts

BALTIMORE (AP) — As Gov. Martin O’Malley signs a bill on sale of decorative contacts, Maryland health officials are reminding residents that the lenses cannot be purchased legally without a prescription.

O’Malley signed the bill into law on Monday. It gives the Board of Examiners in Optometry authority to issue cease and desist orders and assess civil fines for the illegal sale and dispensing of contact lenses.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, says the lenses can be a serious threat to one’s vision.

Health officials say the contact lenses are tinted to change eye color or feature designs. They can cause scratches, ulcers and bacterial infections of the cornea.

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