Faulty breast implants manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) are vulnerable to rupturing due to industrial-grade silicone used in place of surgical silicone. Over 30,000 women are reportedly effected in France alone. The safety of breast implants was covered here in 1991.
Like millions of American women, Debra Craft wanted bigger breasts. Seven years ago, at 23, she got them by way of foam-covered silicone implants. “I asked a plastic surgeon what the risks were,” she says, “and he told me there weren’t any, aside from possible complications of anesthesia. He said they were a lifetime thing.” But Craft, an insurance-claims representative from Orange, Calif., is convinced that silicone leaking from her implants is responsible for a variety of health problems she has suffered for the past six years. She had already decided to have the implants removed — but now she has even more cause of concern. Last week their manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., voluntarily withdrew two brands of foam-coated implants after government studies suggested they might be linked to cancer. The polyurethane foam in these products disintegrates in the body and, the studies found, produces a chemical byproduct, 2-toluene diamine (TDA), that can cause cancer in animals. Craft is angry. “They should have done more research,” she says, “before they started using women as guinea pigs.”
Newsweek April 29, 1991
Scientists have developed an Ebola vaccine, tested on mice, with the hopes of protecting humans. Our 1995 cover story broke down the danger of Ebola and other viruses.
If the word doesn’t make your hair stand on end, it should. Discovered just 19 years ago, when similar outbreaks killed more than 400 people in Zaire and neighboring Sudan, the Ebola virus remains a gruesome mystery. No one knows where the virus resides in nature, how human epidemics get started or why they’re so rare. We know only that the virus can spread from person to person through body secretions, and that 50 to 90 percent of the victims die in a matter of days. The first flu-like symptoms typically appear within three days of infection. Then, as the virus starts replicating in earnest, the victim’s capillaries clog with dead blood cells, causing the skin to bruise, blister and eventually dissolve like wet paper. By the sixth day, blood flows freely from the eyes, ears and nose, and the sufferer starts vomiting the black sludge of his disintegrating internal tissues. Death usually follows by day nine.
Newsweek May 22, 1995