Implants Harm Offspring, Mothers' Suit Says - Chicago Sun-Times - January 29, 1993

By: Lou Ortiz
Chicago Sun-Times
January 29, 1993

Breast implants affect not only the health of women who have them but that of their offspring, too, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

The 93 women who filed the suit allege personal health problems from the implants and say 12 of their children suffer a range of ailments from allergies to tuberculosis, Kenneth Moll, the lawyer who filed the suit this week, said Thursday.

The children born to the women after they received implants also suffer from rashes and welts, and one has a learning disorder, Moll said.

"The silicone passes into the blood system, and a child gets a dose," he said. "No one has ever filed a suit on behalf of the children."

He said the women suffer from joint and muscle pain, memory and hair loss and hardening of the skin.

The suit names 35 defendants, including Bristol-Myers, Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc.

In 1992, the controversy over the health consequences of silicone gel breast implants resulted in tight restrictions on their availability. They are permitted now only for reconstructive surgery after breast cancer or for other medical reasons.

An estimated 2 million implants have been provided to 1 million to 1.3 million women in the United States since they were introduced in the mid-1960s by Dow Corning, a joint venture of Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc.

The suit accuses the companies of negligence and fraudulent misrepresentation. It seeks unspecified money damages.

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