More scary news for women around the globe – as the manufacturer, PIP discloses frightening information regarding their defective implants. It has been discovered that the company knew that the implants were defective since 2005 – but continued to sell the implants for use world-wide, particularly in Latin America.
More disturbingly, this manufacturer did not use medical grade materials – instead opting for cheaper, construction grade chemicals including petroleum and fuel additives, components which have never been tested for [internal] human use. The health effects of exposure to these materials is unknown. The risks associated with the use of these materials is enhanced due to the high rate of rupture among this brand of implant. These chemicals certainly have carcinogenic potential and the implications for thousands and thousands of women are terrifying.
French officials have urged women to have their implants surgically removed.
A preliminary search of PubMed and other published research shows mixed results – and primarily discusses the results of exposure to benzene (and other petroleum derivatives) via water contamination, or occupational exposure. (In fact, only limited information is available regarding the safety of breast implants in general, and the material is fairly dated.)
As we stated in a previous story, while researching Bogota! and interviewing plastic surgeons – I investigated the types of implants used by the surgeons profiled in the book. (None of the surgeons used this company’s implants at the time of my interviews in Winter/ Spring 2011).
Update: In fact, the Colombian government has offered to pay for the removal of PIP implants. More on this story here.