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On Wednesday, health authorities in Brazil said the government will fine private health plans that refuse to pay for the removal and replacement of faulty breast implants sold by PIP and a Dutch company.

The scandal has put pressure on French health authorities for allegedly not doing enough to vet the quality of a product used by untold thousands of women both in France and abroad.

France’s Health Safety Agency has said the suspect implants _ just one type of implants made by PIP _ appear to be more rupture-prone than other types. Investigators say PIP sought to save money by using industrial silicone, whose potential health risks are not yet clear.

PIP’s website said the company had exported to more than 60 countries and was one of the world’s leading implant makers. The silicone-gel implants in question are not sold in the United States.

According to estimates by national authorities, over 42,000 women in Britain received the implants, more than 30,000 in France, 9,000 in Australia and 4,000 in Italy. Nearly 25,000 of the implants were sold in Brazil.