'O' contacts illegal in Oregon; University investigating use of logo

      EUGENE, Ore. - The contacts Oregon Duck cheerleaders put on for a Twitter photo opp en route to Washington last weekend aren't just considered dangerous by eyecare professionals.

      The state optometry board said its illegal to sell the colored contacts in Oregon without a license and prescription.

      "You can cause some real damage to your eye by putting something that is not properly fitted to your eyes in to it," said Nancy DeSouza, the board's executive director. "Only a licensed eye doctor -whether it is an optometrist or opthamologist - is qualified to do that."

      The only place NewsSource 16 found in Eugene selling the contacts was Lazar's Bazar.

      The state board served the business with a cease and desist letter on Tuesday.

      The owner of the Bazar told KMTR a vendor at a trade show told him the lenses are safe and legal.

      He has removed the lenses from his store.

      Lazar isn't alone in having been told the lenses are OK, DeSouza said.

      "Across the board, the people I talk to who are small business owners who were found to be selling contact lenses illegally have been lied to by unscrupled distributors who don't care about the real dangers to consumer eye health and the law," she said.

      And just because you like the big yellow O doesn't mean you can put it all over the place.

      The University of Oregon's licensing department said only one company has ever requested to use the school's logos on contact lenses.

      That company is currently awaiting approval from the school before having permission to sell and distribute them.

      The university says it is investigating how the lenses were printed with the logo since no permission from the school had been given.