Italian Supreme Court Claims Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
The Italian Supreme Court ruled on Oct. 19, 2012 that cell phones are linked to brain tumors. The case involved a business executive seeking compensation from the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL) after developing a tumor in the left side of his head while using his mobile phone for five to six hours a day for 12 years.
Innocenzo Marcolini developed a tumor affecting a cranial nerve, which was not diagnosed as cancerous but required surgery that “badly affected his quality of life,” according to Reuters. INAIL rejected Marcolini’s application for financial compensation, saying there was no proof his tumor had been caused by his cell phone use at work.
A lower Italian court ruled there was a causal link between the use of mobile and cordless telephones and tumors. In the Supreme Court’s rejection of INAIL’s appeal, it said the lower court’s decision was “justified and that scientific evidence advanced in support of the claim was reliable,” according to Reuters. The court said in its ruling that Marcolini’s situation had been “different from normal, non-professional use of a mobile telephone.”
The supreme court based its ruling on studies conducted between 2005-2009 by a cancer research team at Orebro University Hospital in Sweden. The court said the research was “independent and unlike some others, was not co-financed by the same companies that produce mobile telephones.”
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “the weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems.” Robert N. Hoover, Director of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program at the National Cancer Institute, said in a statement that “there has been no meaningful increase in the incidence of brain or other nervous system cancers from 1987 through 2005, a time period when cell phone use increased 10-fold.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists cell phones as a “possible carcinogen” along with lead, chloroform, and coffee, among other substances, but also states “to date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.” The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) limits the amount of radiation that can be absorbed by the body from cell phones sold legally in the United States.
Lindsay Abrams, “Italian Supreme Court Says Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors: How to Address Your Concerned Mother,” theatlantic.com, Oct. 22, 2012
Nick Clayton, “Cellphones Cause Cancer, Rules Italian Court,” blogs.wsj.com, Oct. 22, 2012
Newsmax Health, “iPhone 5 Radiation: Is It Dangerous?,” newsmaxhealth.com, Sep. 13, 2012
Reuters, “Italy Court Ruling Links Mobile Phone Use to Tumor,” reuters.com, Oct. 19, 2012