The health ministry on Thursday urged all women who had breast implants between 1997 and 2001 to come forward for checks after a television show reported up to 5,000 suspect PIP implants may have been sold in the Netherlands.
Until now, the ministry has said 1,400 women were given the implants made from industrial-grade silicone, but research by television show Zembla shows there were problems at the French factory as early as 1997, not 2001.
While silicone implants were banned in France until 2001, this was not the case in the rest of Europe and the company exported thousands of implants before that date.
The health ministry says some 2,700 implants were sold in the Netherlands but former workers at the production company say the total was at least 5,000.
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