Faulty breast implants investigated

Jan. 3, 2012 at 7:14 PM
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PARIS, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The French government began an investigation Tuesday into a health scare over faulty French-made breast implants, officials say.

The investigation aims to look into failures to detect problems with the implants after a supplier admitted to selling non-standard silicone to the manufacturer.

Between 300,000 and 400,000 women throughout 65 countries are believed to have questionable implants that could have been made from contaminated silicone gel.

French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand is reaching out to health officials throughout Europe to discuss the scandal. "How was this not detected by checks?" he told Radio France Internationale. "I want to know everything ... . I have asked for investigations."

The manufacturer, PIP, was shut down in 2010 after it was found to be using cheaper, industrial-grade silicone gel, which health officials fear can result in implant ruptures. About 30,000 women were advised by French health officials to have the implants removed.

Cancer has been detected in 20 women with the implants, but no link has been found between the disease and the implants.

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