French breast implant scare reaches around the world
Hundreds of thousands of women in more than 65 countries, mainly in South America and western Europe, have received breast implants that are at the centre of a health scare.
On December 23, France's health ministry advised 30,000 women with the implants produced by now bankrupt French firm Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) to have them removed as, while there is no proven cancer risk, they could rupture dangerously. An unknown proportion of the implants are made with sub-standard gel.
Here is a summary of global reaction to the health scare:
- THE EUROPEAN UNION: On Thursday the executive European Commission proposed a joint evaluation system, involving sending questionnaires to women across the 27-nation bloc who have had the implants to help health authorities evaluate the risks.
- BELGIUM: Like France, on December 23, Belgium encouraged women with the implants to have them removed if they suspect any ruptures.
- BRITAIN: Around 42,000 women are believed to have had the implants in Britain, which on December 21 recommended medical monitoring.
On the same day a lawyer said more than 250 British women are to take court action after more than half experienced ruptures of the implants.
- CZECH REPUBLIC: The health ministry said on Friday that up to 2,000 Czech women who received the implants should have them removed.
- FINLAND, GERMANY, ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS, SPAIN and SWITZERLAND have urged women with the implants to seek medical monitoring.
- BOLIVIA and VENEZUELA say the defective implants can be removed for free.
- ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, CHILE, COLOMBIA and ECUADOR have banned the implants.
- AUSTRALIA: Health authorities said Thursday there is no evidence the implants pose an extra rupture risk and their contents had been found to be safe.
© 2012 AFP