Silicone implants--a possible confounder for urinary platinum background concentrations?

Environ Res. 2014 Jul;132:269-72. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.04.017. Epub 2014 May 14.


Introduction: Urinary platinum excretion from occupationally unexposed population is very low. Up to now, in Germany, dental noble metal alloys and a platinum based chemotherapy have been identified as reason for elevated urine concentrations. As fabrication of silicone involves platinum as catalyst, this study examines the potential release of platinum from silicone breast implants by quantifying urinary platinum concentration.

Methods and results: Platinum release from three different types of silicone implants into saline solution was measured in a laboratory experiment. It showed a strong increase of platinum concentration during the first 30 min and high platinum concentrations even after 60 h. In the following field study urinary platinum concentrations were determined from 30 women with dental gold alloy restorations and 28 women without such dental inlays. Median platinum concentrations were 5.2 ng/l urine (21.2 ng/g creatinine) for the women with dental gold inlays and 6.0 ng/l urine (5.4 ng/g creatinine) for those without. Compared with the urinary platinum concentrations provided by the German Environmental Survey (GerES) for the general female population the urinary platinum levels of women with silicone implants of the presented study were significantly higher, both for the study groups with and without dental gold alloy inlays.

Conclusions: Silicone breast implants must be considered as a new confounder and as a further contributor to elevated urinary platinum concentrations in human platinum background reference values of women.

Keywords: Confounder; Platinum concentration; Silicone implants; Urine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Platinum / urine*
  • Young Adult


  • Platinum