As many as 300,000 women all over the world may have breast implants made with industrial silicone, but government advice about this health issue is conflicting.
In France, anyone with the implants is being urged to have them removed – that is believed to be 30,000 women.
However, up to 40,000 women in the UK are being told there is no need for undue worry.
Susan Craney from the British PIP Implant Support Group said the advice should be the same no matter what country you are from: “We can’t have two different rules, we can’t have the French having one rule and we have another. We’re all in the same boat, we all have the same implants.”
French company PIP, now bankrupt, produced around two million of the faulty implants, which pose a danger of rupturing and causing other medical complications.
However, neither the UK nor Germany is going as far as recommending removal.
“We’re in a position where we have no safety concerns and no evidence that would justify taking the step of routine removal of implants. Remembering that removing an implant requires an operation with anaesthesia and is in itself a risk,” said British Health Minister Andrew Lansley.
The alarm was raised about the implants following an investigation in France after surgeons noticed they were rupturing more easily.
The French government has agreed to pay for the estimated 30,000 removals, and some women have already had them taken out.
Several former PIP executives face criminal charges in France, and Interpol has posted a wanted notice on its website for the company’s founder.