'Avatar' 3D glasses confiscated in Italy

7,000 sets taken as they 'could cause hygiene risks'

ROME -- Fans of the blockbuster "Avatar" applaud the film's use of 3D technology, but according to Italy's ministry of health it may also present a health risk.

The ministry said Thursday that it had confiscated about 7,000 sets of 3D glasses from Italian cinemas and could collect more of them, because of health risks it says users face.

The ministry said the glasses could cause hygiene risks if they are not properly cleaned between screenings, and that the 7,000 sets of confiscated glasses were taken because they did not display tags showing that they had been properly tested to prove they would not present a risk for short-term vision problems to those who use them.

The missing glasses have had little effect on the success of "Avatar" in Italy, where it remains the top-grossing film in the country.

Anica, the Italian cinema and audiovisual association, declined comment.