Germany's Brenntag AG, the world's largest chemicals distributor, said it had supplied breast implant maker Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) with industrial-grade silicone and that it is in touch with French authorities about the matter.
We provided the product and product specifications to PIP and we are in contact with the French health authorities, Brenntag spokesman Hubertus Spethmann told Reuters on Monday.
He said that a silicone product called Baysilone, which normally goes into sealing materials for construction and into electronic components, among several other industrial uses, was supplied to France's PIP by Brenntag's French unit.
Spethmann declined to provide further details.
The French government has advised the 30,000 women in France who bought the implants to have them removed due to concerns they might rupture. Governments in several other countries, such as Britain and Brazil, have asked women to visit their doctors for checks.
According to the lawyer for now-closed PIP, most of implants sold by the firm since 1991 were produced using a silicone that was not approved by health authorities.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Cowell)