Breast Implants Get Clean Bill of Health

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WASHINGTON: The latest study to conclude that silicone breast implants do not cause severe illness could be the strongest verdict yet in favor of their manufacturers, reports TIME medical expert Christine Gorman. National Cancer Institute research gives the implants a "clean bill of health" as far as cancer and other diseases are concerned even though they frequently leak silicone throughout the body.

The conclusions come from a review of dozens of studies to date. Even before this finding, Fortune reported that breast implant manufacturers were starting to see the light at the end of the legal tunnel. More than 20 studies failed to link the implants to diseases they allegedly cause. Such evidence has forced judges and juries to side with manufacturers in 16 of the last 20 lawsuits. However, thousands of lawsuits are still pending, and about a half-million women have reserved the right to sue.