October 19, 2012
Italians Rule Cell Phone Use Causes Brain Tumors
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
It´s a debate nearly as old as cell phones themselves: Whether these mobile devices can cause brain tumors or if they pose no direct danger to humans. While study after study has been performed which proves and disproves both sides, an Italian court has taken it upon themselves to make an official ruling on the matter.
According to Reuters, the Supreme Court of Italy has upheld a ruling which said one business executive´s brain tumor is a direct result of using a mobile phone hours a day for more than 10 years straight.
Innocente Marcolini is a 60-year old Italian businessman who says he has relied on his mobile phone for work and, as such, has been using his phone for upwards of 6 hours a day for 12 years.
When he became ill and discovered his tumor, he blamed the radiation from his cell phone.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Marcolini expressed his satisfaction in the court´s ruling, saying: "This is significant for very many people. I wanted this problem to become public because many people still do not know the risks.”
"I wanted it recognized that there was a link between my illness and the use of mobile and cordless phones,” he said.
During these 12 years of very heavy mobile use, Marcolini would hold the phone in his left hand, taking notes with his right.
After years of working in this way, Marcolini developed a neurinoma which affected his cranial nerve. This tumor wasn´t cancerous, but as it posed a severe threat to his life, it needed to be surgically removed. This surgery ended up negatively affecting his quality of life, leaving half of his face paralyzed. He told the Telegraph that he has to take morphine everyday for the pain.
When this neurinoma was first detected, Marcolini went to the Italian Workers´ Compensation Authority (INAIL) for financial compensation. INAIL denied his request, saying there was no evidence his tumor had been caused at work.
This Supreme Court decision strikes down an appeal from the INAIL who continued to claim there is no proof that Marcolini´s tumor can be linked to mobile phone usage.
To offer proof, Marcolini called upon oncologist and professor of environmental mutagenesis Angelo Gino Levis and neurosurgeon Dr. Giuseppe Grasso to testify on his behalf.
According to their studies, the electromagnetic radiation emitted from these handsets can damage cells in the brain, leaving them more susceptible to tumors.
"The court decision is extremely important. It finally officially recognizes the link,” said Professor Levis, speaking to UK´s The Sun. "It'll open not a road but a motorway to legal actions by victims. We're considering a class action."
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) pushed for limits on cell phone usage last year, calling them a Class B carcinogen, Britain´s Health Protection Agency holds there is no scientific proof that cell phones cause cancer.
According to a February report from the American Cancer Society, there is still no definitive answer as to whether cell phones can cause harm on a human brain. The FDA and FCC, for example, both hold there is no scientific link between cell phones and cancerous tumors. Others like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) say while there is no distinct proof yet, studies are being conducted to find this link.