A dentist in California was recently looking at the little Halloween toy — a black cat whose eyes glow blue when you press a button — and thought there was something familiar about that bright light: it looked just like the one he uses to harden dental composite material used to repair his patients’ chompers.
So the dentist tested the light on a dab of the material and it turned rock-hard under the blue glow.
“We have a shield that protects our eyes,” the doctor explains about the precautions dentists take when using the light, “and obviously there’s not protection from this.”
CBS 5 took the toy to U.C. Berkeley School of Optometry, where a professor said that the little black cat could do damage to the retina if shone directly into one’s eye.
“If it’s held right against the eye, it’s about four times the permissible exposure,” he says, adding that it should be safe from a few inches away, but, “I think the intended use is for someone to hold it up to somebody and dazzle them with the bright lights.”
“The companies that built this have no business making something as bright as this,” says the professor.
Speaking of which, the toy’s distributor claims it had no idea the light could pose any sort of problem and that it will be contacting the manufacturer to make sure a less-bright light is used in the future.
We really just have a problem with the ghastly sound that the toy emits. If only the Consumer Product Safety Commission could recall a product for being irritating.
ConsumerWatch: Dentist Uncovers Danger In Halloween Cat Toy [CBS San Francisco]