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PORTLAND -- The Oregon Board of Cosmetology was considering a ban on the use of lasers for skin-care treatments after dozens of patients complained to the Oregon Attorney General s Office about injuries, including burns.

But after a heated meeting Monday that included more than an hour of testimony, the Board decided the use of lasers will continue, at least for the next 90 days.

Cosmetologists and aestheticians said the ban on lasers would harm the skin care industry and would hurt the small businesses that provide laser treatments. They said the ban on lasers would not secure the safety of the public, but rather create an environment that could harm the public.

I think we all need to acknowledge the fact that this rule does not guarantee public safety at all, said Columbia Laser Skin Care s Erica Wilson. If anything, it creates a vacuum for more untrained and unsupervised people to step into and grab hold of a laser and harm the public.

The Cosmetology Board will continue to gather more information about education and regulations of the people who use the lasers.

Critics said the dangers are too serious to ignore.

The only action that you can take today which would fully and securely protect Oregonians, said Katie Eichner of the Lindsay Hart Law Firm, is the immediate prohibition of the use of lasers and prescriptive devices by any non-physician.

The board was expected to make a decision on the laser ban at its January meeting.

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