Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, said the eye and skin complaints raised by ApeFest attendees were caused by “UV-A emitting lights installed in one corner of the event,” according to a Nov. 9 statement.
“[Our] comprehensive investigation, undertaken in collaboration with Jack Morton Worldwide, the global brand experience agency that produced ApeFest 2023, has determined that UV-A emitting lights installed in one corner of the event was likely the cause of the reported issues related to attendees’ eyes and skin.”
UV-A, or ultraviolet A, is a form of electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate the skin, causing immediate tanning. Additionally, it contributes to skin aging and wrinkles, with studies suggesting a potential link to skin cancer development, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Earlier in the week, several ApeFest attendees in Hong Kong experienced eye discomfort, vision problems, and skin irritation after the event, sparking concerns about UV exposure.
CryptoSlate reported that one attendee, Asif Kamal, the founder of art-tech and NFT company Artfi, served a legal notice to Yuga Labs, claiming eye damage from the event.
However, Yuga Labs stated that it has reached out to affected attendees to gather information on their symptoms and is encouraging others who may have been affected to seek medical attention. The firm also urged those affected to contact it on social media platform X.
“We continue to encourage anyone experiencing symptoms to seek medical attention and share these findings with their medical provider. We also ask that anyone impacted direct message us,” Yuga Labs said.
Meanwhile, Yuga Labs faces other challenges amid these issues. The company recently laid off a portion of its staff in October due to a shift in strategy that would see it focus on its core strength.
Additionally, the firm’s social lead resigned from his position after numerous racist and antisemitic posts resurfaced online.