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Science / Medicine : Curling Irons Pose a Danger

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Doctors have issued a hair-curling warning to women who fuss with their hair: Beware, curling irons can be hazardous to your health. Drs. Mary Carr, Richard Lamon and James Sturm of the St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center in St. Paul, Minn., reported the cases of three women whose eyes were burned by curling irons over a two-month period earlier this year.

“To our knowledge, the potential danger that curling irons pose to the eye has not previously been reported,” the doctors wrote in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The women suffered burns over 25% to 50% of their corneas--the clear covering of the eye--when they accidentally hit their eyes while using curling irons, Sturm said in a telephone interview.

None of the women suffered permanent damage to their eyes and none experienced any loss of sight after the burns healed, Sturm said. But the doctors suggested that the devices carry warning labels or be redesigned.

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