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Report: Bug zapper causes vision issues at medical facility

July 12, 2021 GMT

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A bug zapper that had the wrong kind of light bulb caused vision problems for five people at a veterans medical facility in North Carolina, a spokesperson said.

Yves-Marie Daley from the Durham VA Health Care System said the bulb emitted light that was too strong, impacting the vision of three employees, a resident and a contractor who had a meeting near the device, The News & Observer reported.

The people affected are healing and their vision is improving, according to Daley. She didn’t specify the date of the incident or the severity of the vision loss.

Bug zappers attract insects with ultraviolet light and then electrocute them, but the light usually isn’t intense enough to harm people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says more powerful UV lamps — like those used as disinfectants against the coronavirus — can cause eye injuries and skin reactions similar to burns.

The center opened an internal investigation and is evaluating other bug zappers for similar problems.