Italian Court rules mobile phones can cause cancer

Innocente Marcolini is an Italian businessman who developed a tumour in the trigeminal nerve in his brain and right next to where his mobile phone regularly touched his head. This type of tumour is non-cancerous but in his case it could be life threatening if it spread to the carotid artery, which carries blood to the brain. Every day he now has to take morphine because his face was paralysed and he is in pain. 

So he took his case to Italy’s Supreme Court in Rome; and they ruled that there is a "causal link" between his illness and his phone use. "I wanted this problem to become public because many people still do not know the risks", said Marcolini.

"I was on the phone, usually the mobile, for at least five or six hours every day at work. I wanted it recognised that there was a link between my illness and the use of mobile and cordless phones. Parents need to know their children are at risk of this illness."

British scientists have claimed there is insufficient evidence to prove any link to mobiles.

Both respected oncologist and professor of environmental mutagenesis Angelo Gino Levis and neurosurgeon Dr Giuseppe Grasso gave evidence for Mr Marcolini, saying that electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile and cordless phones can damage cells, making tumours more likely. 

Prof Levis told The Sun newspaper in the UK: "The court decision is extremely important. It finally officially recognises the link. It’ll open not a road but a motorway to legal actions by victims. We’re considering a class action." 

Last year the World Health Organisation decided that EMFs from mobile phones and other sources should be labelled class B carcinogens and urged caution on WIFI and mobile phones. For a comprehensive review on EMFs, mobile phones and cancer risk, read Mobile phones and cancer risk; it’s your call (click here). 

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said the verdict could "open the floodgates" even though there is no direct obligation on British courts to follow the Italians’ lead. 

He said: "It is possible people will begin legal action here, but I think the chances of success are less. I think they’ll join any class action in Italy." 

October - December Cancer Watch 2012
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