Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A question for Mplnt regarding Platinum ~ Not a "Smart Ass" remark (for Coleah's sake)

Mplnt: Regarding the following article on Platinum, I was wondering if you could give us an opinion, if you have one regarding proper treatment.

In the last 5 years I have developed the asthmatic symptoms talked about in this article.  Seems to be worse during upper body activity. I don't have it all the time, but do have pretty pronounced bouts of it every couple of months ago.  They seem to be coming more often, and are becoming longer in duration.

If you had a family member, or someone close to you that had been implanted with silicone gel that likely contained platinum, what would you say would probably be the best course of action to try to get most of it out of the body?

I'm not so interested in treating the symptoms, as I am root cause.

Respectfully, Myrl Jeffcoat

------ Published Saturday, December 23, 2000 Government hasn't pursued suggest! ions to test silicone breast implants

Greg Gordon / Star Tribune

WASHINGTON, D.C. --A government scientist proposed a study four years ago to explore whether silicone gel breast implants could have leaked toxic forms of platinum into women's bodies, as some health professionals feared.

But the proposal by Raymond Biagini, a research toxicologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health who is a leading platinum expert, went nowhere.

Now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it needs more data to determine whether platinum may be a culprit in the illnesses of some of the ha1f-million women who have sued implant manufacturers.

The issue underscores a handicap routinely confronting the FDA: It lacks the money to perform research that might settle many of the scientific questions on which its regulatory decisions hinge. III an interview this month, FDA Commissioner Jane Henney acknowledged the problem and said Congr! ess should consider "at least doubling" her agency's $1.3 billion budget The annual budget for laboratory research at the FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark, has been in the $40 million to $50 million range.

To the frustration of some scientists and a number of women who think their silicone breast implants made them ill, no government studies are underway into the possible effects of platinum, small amounts of which ~re used during manufacturing.

Potent allergen

In certain reactive forms, platinum is one of the most potent allergens known to humans. Scientists have yet to establish what level of exposure causes sensitization, but once a person is sensitized, exposure to the tiniest amounts of the substance can cause allergic reactions ranging from asthma-Iike breathing problems to hives, skin rashes and joint pain. Some studies suggest platinum may also cause neurological problems, such as numbness in fingers and toes.

Silicone implant manufacturers, including for! mer makers Dow Corning Corp. and Maplewood-based JM Co., stress that two national science panels have But a Houston researcher, Ernest Lykissa, says he has detected elevated levels of reactive platinum in the hair, fingernails and body fluids of a number of women who had the implants for years and blame them for a variety of ailments.

Lykissa's findings have aroused the interest of John Langone, an FDA molecular biology official who is monitoring the platinum issue. But Langone said the agency needs more extensive studies to determine whether reactive forms of platinum are in the implant, how much leaches out and what, if any, health effects it may produce.

Only two companies currently make silicone gel breast implants in the United States --for use limited to reconstructive surgery: lnamed Corp. and Mentor Corp. Mentor says it uses reactive platinum in making a catalyst, while Inamed declines to say whether it uses platinum. Both companies mor! e widely sell saline-filled breast implants. FDA officials say they use a tin catalyst for those products, but agency literature says they also may contain platinum .

Platinum leaking

Several researchers and health professionals have urged the FDA and the National Institutes of Health to conduct studies into the platinum in implants since 1993.

Omar Henderson. a supervisory research chemist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported in the mid-1990s that he had found platinum leaking from 15 of 20 implants he tested after they were removed from ~men's bodies. Henderson said he proposed further study, but got no response.

Biagini, the toxicologist, wrote the FDA suggesting a study in which gel from silicone implants would be applied to the skin of platinum refinery workers known to have been sensitized to the substance and to women with implants.  A pattern of skin reactions would be a strong signal of a problem, he contended.   He also got no response.

Later, Biagini said, he w! rote to a federal judge in Alabama overseeing breast implant litigation, offering his assistance if a court-appointed science panel wanted to investigate the platinum issue. He said he received no reply.


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