PIP silicone supplier says was not negligent

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German chemicals supplier Brenntag rejected accusations of negligence on Friday after a report it could face legal action over its role as silicone supplier to PIP, the company at the centre of a row about the quality of breast implants.

Brenntag said it was unclear whether the industrial-grade silicone oils it had sold PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) had been used at all in the PIP breast implants, which showed high rupture rates and were withdrawn from the French market in 2010.

It also said the substances had been clearly labeled as not fit for use in implants, and that it had no reason to believe they could be misused.

"PIP presented itself as a diversified healthcare provider, that offers and distributes different med-tech products globally. The product range included to our knowledge for instance wound dressing pads," Brenntag said in a statement

German daily newspaper Handelsblatt on Friday cited lawyer Michael Graf as saying his Munich-based lawfirm Zierhut & Graf was preparing to press civil charges on behalf of an unnamed client against Brenntag and the surgeons and the clinic that had treated her.

A woman who answered the phone at Zierhut & Graf said that neither Graf nor other lawyers at the firm had time to speak to the press.

Brenntag earlier this month said it had supplied (PIP) with industrial-grade silicone, and that it was in touch with French authorities about the matter.

The French government has advised the 30,000 women in France who have the implants to have them removed due to concerns they might rupture. Governments in several other countries, such as Britain and Brazil, have asked women to visit their doctors for checks.

A French investigating judge visited PIP offices earlier in January as part of a probe into the death of a woman from cancer, which could lead to charges of involuntary homicide against the firm.

French authorities ordered the company to withdraw its breast implants from the market in March 2010.