An Italian court has ruled that excessive cell phone use may result in brain cancer after a 57-year-old telecommunications company manager developed a brain tumor. The plaintiff said that constant use of his company-issued cell phone for work-related purposes for about three to four hours a day for 15 years, had allegedly caused his disease, reported Agence France-Presse.
The Telecom Italia worker was awarded a state-funded pension of approximately $535 a month ($6,000 to $7,000 per year) after a medical examiner concluded that his brain cancer damaged 23 percent of his bodily function. The pension will be paid out by INAIL (National Insurance Institute for Employment Injuries), which covers workplace accident claims, Newsweek reports.
“I had no choice but to use my mobile to talk to colleagues and organize work – for 15 years I was calling all the time, from home, in the car,” the plaintiff said. “I started to have the feeling of my right ear being blocked all the time and the tumor was diagnosed in 2010. Happily, it was benign but I can no longer hear anything because they had to remove my acoustic nerve.”
The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have extensive experience in all areas of litigation, including cases involving the diagnosis of cancer which allegedly resulted from the use of cell phones. Our lawyers are actively reviewing these potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals seeking legal advice.
Cell Phone Research Using Lab Rats
In 2016, researchers from the National Toxicology Program, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), found a link between a particular type of radiation produced by cell phones and cancer in lab rats. Over 2,500 rats were exposed to cell phone radiation for nine hours a day for two years. This caused a low number of male rodents developing two types of tumors including schwannomas (affecting the heart), and gliomas (brain cancer), reports Newsweek.
Similar tumors in humans have been found, making these studies even more significant in this ongoing controversy. Two studies found that the tumors occurred on the same side as phone use, according to Scientific American.
The court was praised for refusing the court’s expert to acknowledge into evidence studies that were financed by the telecom business. This was the world’s first trial court verdict “to recognize a link between cell phone use and the development of brain tumors.”
Dangers of Excessive Cell Phone Use
Potential health risks of mobile phones have been shown by medical research to have no serious risk to human health if the device is used at “normal” levels. It is deemed too early to determine a causal link, but some studies have suggested that excessive use of mobile phones may pose some risk to a person’s health.
“The standards say severe use is one hour a day. I went well past the limit.” The plaintiff had sued the social security agency, not Telecom Italia, where he is still employed.
The plaintiff said he was not aware that cell phones could do such damage, but added he did not want to demonize them, but wants people to have more information on how to use phones more safely. Safety measures could include lessening mobile phone usage and using specific anti-radiation ear buds.
In the meantime, steps that can be taken as a precaution include carrying your cell phone in your purse or backpack, as opposed to close to your body. This will greatly reduce exposure. Modern cell phones don’t always emit the same amount of RF-EMF (radio frequency-electromagnetic field) when in use. The better the reception, the less exposure from the phone. So, limiting cell phone use in areas of poor reception would reduce exposure.
A similar case in 2012 involved a sales manager who was on a cell phone five or six hours a day. The man filed a lawsuit, but the trial court denied his case. It is believed this latest judgment may pave the way for future lawsuits, according to International Business Times.
The Codacons consumer insurance agency notes it is thinking about a class-action in view of the recent court decision to have mobile phones carry health warnings in Italy, and to have the health dangers related to mobile phone use recognized overall by Italy’s social security agency, according to The Science Times.
Legal Information and Advice for Cell Phone Users
If you or someone you know has been injured by a product or device, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman LLP personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact our attorneys at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).