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At the start of the spring semester, the State University of New York at Geneseo purchased 17 ultraviolet lamps to stop the spread of COVID-19. But the lamps damaged the eyes of eight professors and an unknown number of students, WXXI News reported.

Kathy Mapes, associate professor of history at SUNY Geneseo, said she thought the lamp was a space heater. She woke up at 1 a.m. with burning eyes the first night after she was in a classroom with the lamp.

Mapes said she was diagnosed with UV keratitis. The condition is caused by unprotected exposure to ultraviolet rays. She was told that the tissue covering her cornea was damaged.

The State Labor Department has found that the lamps were not properly installed in five classrooms. In addition, the report faulted Geneseo for not posting warnings in all the rooms with the lamps.

A SUNY Geneseo spokesperson said university officials couldn’t talk about the incidents because an investigation of them is ongoing.

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