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MIDLAND, Mich., May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Dow Corning Corporation today announced that it has voluntarily filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code with the United States Bankruptcy Court in Bay City, Michigan.

In announcing today's Chapter 11 filing, Dow Corning's management emphasized that its underlying business remains strong and that its customers will not be directly affected by this action. "Dow Corning will continue to supply products to our customers, and compensate our suppliers and employees as we have in the past," explained Richard A. Hazleton, Dow Corning chairman and chief executive officer. "We decided to take this action while we are in a position of financial strength, with the cash to continue operating our business without disruption.

"We now believe this is our only reasonable choice for four principal reasons. First, attorneys with lawsuits outside of the global settlement have not reduced their exorbitant demands, threatening our long-term business and, therefore, our ability to fund the global settlement. Despite the scientific evidence showing no link between implants and disease, we were faced with preparing for nearly 200 cases in the next 6 months. This represented a potentially enormous financial and management drain which threatened our business. Our Chapter 11 filing immediately stops all lawsuits against the company," Hazleton explained.

"Second, when we file our financial reorganization plan, we hope to preserve our participation in a global settlement, to which we have agreed to contribute $2 billion. Even so, we are concerned about the settlement, since many are calling for hundreds of millions or even billions of more dollars and are predicting thousands of additional lawsuits. We are continuing discussions with global settlement attorneys to reach a satisfactory agreement. But, we have consistently said that we cannot both fund the global settlement and afford large numbers of lawsuits outside of the settlement," Hazleton said.

"Third, several recent credit rating downgrades have confirmed the financial community's long-term concerns about the lack of a certain and predictable financial resolution to this controversy. This understandable concern is in spite of the underlying strength of our business, which the ratings agencies understand. The Chapter 11 process will provide closure by resolving all breast implant financial claims," Hazleton explained.

"Finally, some of our insurance carriers have not accepted their responsibility to commit to pay their share of the more than $1.5 billion which we believe they will owe us. As of March 31, 1995, we had received less than $100 million. We believe we will eventually be reimbursed, but we are not satisfied with our progress," Hazleton said.

"This was a difficult decision," explained Hazleton. "We carefully considered what effect this would have on our customers, employees, suppliers, and communities, as well as women who have our implants. In our judgment, the current and evolving circumstances surrounding the breast implant controversy reached the point that we had to take this action now to preserve both the fundamental strength of our business operations and our ability to fairly compensate all women with breast implant claims."

"We are disappointed that our efforts to resolve this controversy without resorting to a Chapter 11 filing were not successful. We negotiated a $4.25 billion global settlement, including $2 billion funding from Dow Corning over 30 years. We argued our case in court with a good deal of success. We also committed more than $30 million in additional research to address the remaining questions women have about their implants, and we funded an implant removal reimbursement program for women who wanted to have their implants removed but lacked the financial means to do so," Hazleton said.

"Research has not shown a link between breast implants and the diseases alleged in lawsuits. Research from prestigious institutions like Harvard University, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan and others has consistently found that women with implants are no more likely to contract disease than women without implants. In fact, recently, both the French and British governments have reviewed the available research and concluded that women with implants face no greater risk of developing autoimmune disease than the general population," Hazleton stated.

"Our focus now will be to maintain our strong business momentum by continuing to meet our customers' needs. We also intend to work closely with our key creditors and the creditor committees once they are appointed to complete our financial restructuring and emerge from Chapter 11 as soon as possible, although the entire process will probably take two years or more. We have started this process by filing motions today with the court that will minimize any disruption to our normal day-to-day operations," Hazleton explained.

"We at Dow Corning deeply appreciate the outstanding support we have received from our customers, employees, suppliers, business and financial partners, and communities throughout this controversy. We intend to demonstrate that their confidence in us has been well placed by supplying quality products and growing our business throughout and following this Chapter 11 proceeding," Hazleton concluded.

Dow Corning Corp., a global leader in silicon-based materials, is a Michigan corporation with shares equally owned by The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) and Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW). More than half of Dow Corning's sales are outside the U.S.

Recent U.S. and international studies to follow.


The following is a summary of some recent studies of women with breast implants conducted by prominent researchers at prestigious institutions. Unlike the reports of individual patients (often called "case reports" or "case series") which you may have read about, these studies were designed to make comparisons between groups of women with and without implants. The latter are called control groups and provide the opportunity to determine whether a finding among those with implants is occurring more frequently than might be expected.

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Sanchez- Guerrero, Karlson, Colditz, et. al., Boston, MA 1994

"Silicone Breast Implants and Connective Tissue Disease"

This study examined the incidence of rheumatic disease among 121,700 American registered nurses from 1976-1990. The use of breast implants among those with rheumatic disease (disease confirmed by medical records) was compared to use in a randomly selected age matched control group. The authors concluded "We found no association between silicone breast implants and connective tissue disease."

** Mayo Clinic, S. E. Gabriel, M.D., L. T. Kurland, M.D., et. al., Rochester, MN 1994

"Breast Implants/Connective Tissues Disease Disorders"

This study looked at medical records for all women in Olmsted County, Minnesota who received breast implants between 1964 and 1991, identified 749 women who had received breast implants and compared them with 1,498 women who had not received implants. The investigators stated: "We found no association between breast implants and the connective-tissue diseases and other disorders that were studied."

* University of Michigan School of Public Health, David Schottenfeld, M.D., et. al., Ann Arbor, MI 1994

"Scleroderma and its Causes"

Large-scale population based case-control study looking at all women in the state of Michigan diagnosed with scleroderma between 1980 and 1991. The study involved 337 women with scleroderma (83% of those diagnosed) and 1,184 women in a control group who did not have scleroderma. Researchers found "no statistically significant association between silicone breast implants and scleroderma" and "no association between any contact with silicone and scleroderma."

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, F. M. Wigley, M.D., et. al., Baltimore, MD 1992

"Breast Implants/Scleroderma"

This is part of the Hochberg study conducted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine noted below. Among 210 Baltimore respondents and 531 from Pittsburgh with scleroderma, the frequency of breast implants was about the same as that estimated for the U.S. adult female population. The investigators concluded that "these data fail to support the hypothesis that augmentation mammoplasty with silicone gel- filled prosthesis is a risk factor for the development of SSc (scleroderma)."

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Mark Schusterman, M.D., et. al., Houston, TX July 1993

"Breast Implants/Autoimmune Disease"

Results from this prospective study of 603 patients (250 with breast implants and 353 with reconstruction from their own tissue) from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston showed "The incidence of autoimmune disease in mastectomy patients receiving silicone gel implants is not different than in patients who had reconstruction with autogenous tissue."

** University of Maryland School of Medicine, M. C. Hochberg, M.D., et. al., Baltimore, MD 1993

"Breast Implants/Scleroderma"

This is a large multi-center case control study of scleroderma which will enroll approximately 1,000 cases of scleroderma and 2,000 community controls. The cases are being compiled by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University and the University of California San Diego and compared with population based controls. Preliminary results state "These preliminary data fail to demonstrate an association between augmentation mammoplasty (with silicone breast implants) and the development of SSc (scleroderma)."

* Emory University, John A. Goldman, M.D., et. al., Atlanta, GA 1992

"Silicone Breast Implants/Connective Tissue Disease"

A study of 4,289 women with and without breast implants found "no excess risk of any CTD (connective tissue disease) among the breast implant recipients. Among patients seeking a rheumatological consultation, those with a history of breast implants were no more likely to have diagnostic considerations of a connective tissue disease, whether the analysis was matched or unmatched."

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Medicine, Warren D. Blackburn, Jr., M.D., et. al., Birmingham, AL 1992

"Breast Implants/Rheumatic Disorder"

This was a study of 30 women with implants and a variety of symptoms. Each was clinically examined and laboratory results were compared to normal controls. They concluded "that most 'symptomatic' women with breast implants have no evidence of a systemic inflammatory rheumatic disorder."

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Michael P. Everson, Ph.D., Birmingham, AL 1993

"Breast Implants/Immunological Symptoms"

This study looked at groups of symptomatic implant patients from 29 to 43 in size, compared with control groups of normal women (10 to 68 in size) and also compared with patients without implants who had chronic inflammatory connective tissue disease (up to 131 in number). They compared the levels of various indicators of inflammatory connective tissue disease between the groups. They found that silicone breast implant patients had normal values and concluded that their results "argue against an association of chronic inflammatory disease (with) silicone breast implants."

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Division of Clinical Research, Carin E. Dugowson, M.D., et. al., Seattle, WA 1992

"Silicone Breast Implants/Rheumatoid Arthritis"

A prospective population based case control study of 349 women with rheumatoid arthritis and 1,456 similarly aged control women showed "these data do not support an increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis among women with silicone breast implants."

University of Nevada School of Medicine, Barry S. Markman, M.D., et. al., Las Vegas, NV 1993

"Silicone Injections/Autoimmune Disease"

This was a study of 44 women who had received silicone injections between the years 1965-1969. Based on a questionnaire, physical exam and immunological tests, the study concluded "there is no higher incidence of autoimmune disease than the general population."

University of Texas, Department of Surgery, Southwestern Medical Center, Fritz E. Barton, Jr., M.D., et. al., Dallas, TX 1993

"Silicone Breast Implant Augmentation Patients/Autoimmune Disease"

This study of 40 women who either had polyurethane coated or smooth surface silicone implants included periodic clinical examinations and laboratory tests over a period of two years. The control group comprised 14 women who had breast surgery but no implants. The findings "failed to disclose any significant differences between the augmented patients ... and/or the controls." Studies "fail to support a relationship between augmentation mammoplasty and autoimmune disease."


St. Vincent Hospital, Department of Medicine, and Royal North Shore Hospital, Rheumatology Unit, Helen J. Englert, M.D., and Peter Brooks, M.D., Sydney, Australia 1994

"Silicone Breast Implantation/Scleroderma"

This was a case control study of 464 women with scleroderma and 289 controls in the Sydney, Australia area. They concluded "this study failed to demonstrate an association between silicone breast implantation and the subsequent development of scleroderma."

University of Toronto, The Wellesley Hospital, and Women's College Hospital, Edward Keystone, M.D., et. al., Toronto, Canada

"Silicone Breast Implants/Autoantibody Levels/Connective Tissue Disease"

A study of 200 patients with silicone gel implants compared with a similar group of 100 age-matched control patients without breast implants and 29 patients with implant rupture. Conclusion: "There were no significant differences between the frequency or titre of any of these autoantibody levels in each of the three groups of patients. These studies strengthen the concept that there is no conclusive evidence that silicone-gel implants are related to development of connective tissue disorders."

University of Toronto, Department of Surgery, Walter J. Peters, M.D., et. al., Toronto, Canada 1993

"Silicone Breast Implants/Connective Tissue Disease"

All 350 patients in the Toronto Rheumatic Disease Clinic with scleroderma were reviewed. Two had breast implants but "both had signs and symptoms of the disease before receiving their implants." Extensive studies were also performed on 455 consecutive patients with silicone gel implants. They concluded that "the present studies do not strengthen a direct relationship between CTD (connective tissue disease) and silicone gel implants. The prevalence of CTS (SIC -- we believe this is a typographical error and should be CTD, not CTS) in these patients appears to be similar to that of a control female population without breast implants."

Molinette Hospital, Rheumatology Department, S. Di Vittorio, Oncological Gynecology University, P. Sismondi, Plastic Surgery Traumatological Center, S. Teich Alasia, et. al., Turin, Italy 1993

"Breast Implants/Immune Phenomenon"

A study of rheumatic/immune phenomenon in 102 mastectomy patients with implants and 102 mastectomy patients without implants concluded "The percentage of this type of disease (rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma) was found to be superimposable in the two groups and was no greater than that found in the normal population."

LMU-Munchen, Klinikum Grobhadern, F. W. von Hessler, et. al., Munchen, Germany 1993

"Breast Implants/Rheumatic Disease"

A retrospective field study of all 682 patients who had received silicone gel breast implants between 1984 and 1991, compared to a control group of patients who were scheduled to receive implants. Study included a questionnaire and clinical examination and various laboratory tests on all patients with complaints. They reported that "so far there is no evidence of severe side effects after the use of silicone gel breast implants."

Technische University, Klinikum rechts der isar, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, A. M. Feller and K. Biefel, Munich, Germany 1993

"Breast Implants/Connective Tissue Disease"

A retrospective study of 500 patients with silicone breast implants who were evaluated for any reactions connected with their implants. Study included a questionnaire for all women and physical examination of 310 women. Results showed "In none of the patients a casual relationship between the implantation and the development of connective tissue disease was evident."

Danish Cancer Registry and U.S. National Cancer Institute, McLaughlin, Fraumeni, Olsen and Mellemkjaer, Copenhagen and Bethesda, MD 1994

"Breast Implants/Systemic Sclerosis/Breast Cancer"

This study of 824 Danish women who had breast implants found a lower than expected number of women with breast cancer -- 8 compared with the 13.6 expected. The study identified two women with systemic sclerosis which was greater than the expected number of 0.07. The authors commented that the results should be interpreted cautiously.

St. John's Hospital, Howden, Livingston, Watson, Edinburgh, Scotland 1994

"Silicone Breast Implants/Breast Cancer/Connective Tissue Disease"

This study looked at all the women of southeast Scotland who had silicone gel breast implants between the years of 1982-1991. There were 319 women with silicone gel breast implants who took part in the study and were compared to carefully matched women without breast implants. The study concluded "None of the patients was found to have an increased risk of developing cancer or connective tissue diseases compared with the control group of women without implants."

* Directly funded by Dow Corning

** Funded in whole or in part by the Plastic Surgeon Education Foundation. Dow Corning has contributed money to this Foundation, but has no input on what research the Foundation chooses to fund.
 -0- 5/15/95

/CONTACT: T. Michael Jackson, 517-496-6443, or Christy A. Meter, 517-496-8841, both of Dow Corning/


CO: Dow Corning Corporation ST: Michigan IN: MTC SU: BCY

ML -- DE005 -- 6510 05/15/95 07:52 EDT
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