Mobile phones do cause brain tumours, Italian court rules
Mobile (cell) phones do cause brain tumours, an Italian court has ruled, a decision that is expected to open the floodgates to class action suits against manufacturers and network operators.
Italy’s Supreme Court in Rome has concluded there is a direct causal link between extensive mobile phone use and brain tumours after hearing evidence from two doctors, oncologist Angelo Gino Levis and neurosurgeon Giuseppe Grasso.
They testified on behalf of businessman Innocente Marcolini, 60, who developed a tumour after using a mobile phone for up to six hours every day for 12 years.
In their testaments, the doctors said that mobile and cordless phones damage cells, making tumours more likely. All children and those adults who use the phones extensively are especially at risk, they say.
Mr Marcolini developed a tumour close to the area where he consistently held the phone. Although the tumour was benign, it threatened his life because it had spread to the carotid artery, which carries blood to the brain. The left side of his face has been left paralysed, and he has to take morphine drugs every day to ease the pain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified mobile phone technology as a class B carcinogen, and urges restricted use, especially among children.
After the hearing, Prof Levis said: “The court decision finally officially recognises a link. It will open not a road but a motorway to legal actions by victims.”
The court ruling remains controversial, however. Some scientists maintain a link between mobile technology and cancer has not been established, and several extensive studies have also failed to find a connection. Most of the studies have been funded by the mobile phone industry, however.
(Source: Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2012)