Silicone breast implants may be banned in Europe if a European Union initiative is successful. The implants have been banned in the US since 1992 after 72 per cent of them ruptured and 10 per cent needed replacing within the first year.
The implants may be added to EU legislation, which bans medical devices that include outlawed subtances and other items.
Leading the initiative is Labour MEP Bill Miller, who points out that the use of silicone in other procedures, such as silicone injections, has already been banned.
His campaign started when he presented a petition signed by 2,200 British women to the European parliament last March. Similar petitions were also handed in by representatives from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.
According to critics of the implants, silicone poisoning can cause a range of symptoms including fatigue, cognitive function problems, loss of balance, severe allergies and paralysis, although none of these has been confirmed in studies.