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Platinum a Risk in Silicone Breast Implants

A new study has found that women who had silicone breast implants for many years developed possibly hazardous levels of platinum salts. High levels of platinum can cause severe allergies, asthma, reduced immune responses and nerve damage. The study, published in Analytical Chemistry, found higher platinum levels than any previous study, as well as finding platinum in an oxidized state that makes it potentially more dangerous. The study also concluded that the platinum remained at high levels in the body even after silicone implants were removed.

The findings come as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prepares to allow silicone implants back on the market. Implant manufacturers deny any risks related to the platinum used to manufacture implants, but the nonprofit that funded the study, the Chemically Associated Neurological Disorders, asked the FDA to delay action until there is more research on risks associated with platinum. FDA spokesperson Susan Cruzan told the Washington Post that the FDA is “carefully reviewing the article.”

Sources:

Analytical Chemistry 4/1/06; Chemical and Engineering News 4/10/06; Washington Post 4/7/06

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