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Swimmer suffers eye damage after using recalled Zoggs goggles cleaner

Swimmer suffers eye damage after using recalled Zoggs goggles cleaner
August 14, 2018

A Queensland swimmer has suffered "horrible pain" and damage to his eyes after applying a recalled anti-fog product to the inside of his goggles.

Darren Lydeamore, who spent three days in hospital, was not aware that Zoggs Australia’s Fogbuster and Lens Cleaner had been the subject of product recall as a result of a “manufacturing defect” that “may cause irritation and a burning sensation of the eye(s)” .

As reported by the ABC, Lydeamore’s treating doctor advised that given the seriousness of his injuries, the recall should have been more strongly worded and better publicised.

Lydeamore said when he applied the Zoggs Fogbuster Fogbuster and Lens Cleaner to his goggles on a routine morning swim at his local pool, he began feeling an intensifying burning sensation in both his eyes.

Lydeamore told the ABC “initially I thought I'll get some eye drops from the chemist on my way to work.

"But then the right eye really started hurting and I had to close it and I couldn't see anything, and the left eye started clouding up.

"I realised this wasn't good. I thought this is silly, this is dangerous, let's turn around and drive back home again."

Lydeamore was treated by a GP and a local eye clinic before being transported by ambulance to the Cairns Hospital for urgent care.

Dr Tony McLellan said while he had seen some advertisements about the product recall, they varied in description and level of injury.

While notices advising of the product recall were posted on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Zoggs’ website, Australasian Leisure Management is unaware of any wider communication with aquatic and recreation facilties or trade media.

However, the ACCC says Zoggs Australia satisfied all of its recall notification requirements by advertising it on its website and Facebook page.

In a statement issued by the company, Zoggs Asia Pacific General Manager Rob Davies advised that Zoggs had corresponded with every consumer who had reported any issue with the product.

Davies’ statement advised "I am very sorry to hear about the discomfort/pain Darren and all Zoggs consumers have suffered to their eyes, with some leading to hospital treatment and, obviously, great personal distress.”

The statement advised that when Zoggs became aware of a potential issue with the product it was immediately quarantined in the Australian and New Zealand warehouse and no further products were sold while tests were carried out.

Davies’ statement continued “we have been advised that, although painful and very distressing, with medical treatment any effects are temporary."

He said Zoggs then initiated an immediate product recall to retailers to who had received a product from one of the affected batches, adding “we have issued a full recall of all Fogbuster solution sold in the period January to June 2018.

"Zoggs will also be permanently discontinuing the product.

"Recall notices were then sent to all customers who had purchased the faulty products asking them to be displayed in store and for the Fogbuster to be taken off sale and returned to Zoggs by freepost for a full refund.”

Davies said Zoggs’ sales staff then visited the retailers to ensure the recall requirements were in place, advising that 70% of the affected product had been returned to Zoggs.

However, Dr McLellan told the ABC Dr McLellan that he would have preferred to see a far wider campaign to notify customers, advising that Lydeamore had a level of eye damage that he thought was "significant".

Darren Lydeamore is not ruling out legal action and said while his eyes are recovering there is still damage at the moment.

In the recall, Zoggs advised that for batches of the Fogbuster and Lens Cleaner marked 105R customers should “ stop using it immediately” adding “if you are not aware of the batch number of your Cleaner and have bought the product from us in the period from February to May 2018, we would recommend that you stop using the product immediately.”

The ACCC's product recall notice can be seen at www.productsafety.gov.au/recall/zoggs-australia-zoggs-fogbuster-anti-fog-lens-cleaner-extended-recall

Click here to contact Zoggs via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Images: Darren Lydeamore in hospital (top) and the Zoggs Fogbuster and Lens Cleaner (below). Courtesy of Darren Lydeamore.

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