At least two companies have admitted supplying products meant for industrial not medical use to the French firm at the centre of a health scare over breast implants.
PIP, which was shut down in 2010, has denied the allegations. Its lawyer insisted the substances used were not dangerous and said the firm’s boss, who is wanted by Interpol, would break his silence.
But the German firm Brenntag, the world’s largest chemicals distributor, said it supplied PIP with industrial-grade silicone. It is in contact with French health authorities.
Another supplier, Bluestar International, claimed it also sold industrial products to PIP.
The company’s spokesman said its Rhodorsil range was meant for making tyres, for the oil industry or for treating waste water.
In France a lawyer for four women threatening legal action against surgeons is calling for samples to be taken directly from his clients for examination by European health authorities.
French authorities have advised 30,000 women to have PIP breast implants removed because of the danger of rupture.
In Britain a medical advisor to the government is now also recommending removal.
But in other countries where women are being told only to have a check-up, there is increasing concern.
Experts in Spain are pointing the finger at lax controls, amid suggestions that watchdogs have been compromised by commercial interests.