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MOBILE PHONES AND HEAD TUMOURS: LINK CONFIRMED BY ITALY’S SUPREME COURT

Domingo 21 de octubre de 2012 · 584 lecturas

MOBILE PHONES AND HEAD TUMOURS: LINK CONFIRMED BY ITALY’S SUPREME COURT

Italy’s Supreme Court (employment section) (Sentence no. 17438, 3-12.10.12) has fully and definitively upheld the decision of Brescia’s Court of Appeal regarding the case of a worker (I.M.) suffering from a trigeminal nerve tumor due to intense cell phone use at work (mobile and cordless). The Supreme Court judges:
1) confirmed the validity of the scientific references cited by the CTU (technical consultancy) of Brescia and the plaintiff’s consultants: his oncologist and Prof. Levis, former professor in environmental mutagenesis at Padua University and co-founder (epidemiology) of the A.P.P.L.E. Association;
2) once again explained the reasons for the discrepancies between the studies and conclusions dismissive of any phone-use/health link (Interphone Project: IARC, EC, ICNIRP, WHO, but also international and national mobile telephony companies) and the alarming findings of the Hardell group;
3) once more acknowledged the presence of conflict of interest and thus “business bias”, so nullifying the results of scientific studies carried out in this context;
4) noted the general principle - applicable to all pathologies and their work-place causes, including those not listed by INAIL - whereby "reasonable certainty" of the cause-effect link, giving rise to a "considerable degree of probability", can in any case be taken into consideration.
This sentence - fruitlessly hindered by researchers of the National Health Institute in Rome and even opposed by the Procuratore Generale della Repubblica (Italian Attorney General) in his presentation at the Supreme Court hearing - sets a precedent for other cases of tumor due to workplace exposure, whether to electric and magnetic field/extremely low frequency (EMF/ELF) HT conductors or radiofrequency (mobile and cordless phones, but also radioemitters and radar). It could also open up the way for recognition and compensation regarding a variety of acute pathologies resulting from exposure to EMF, and even pathologies attributable to other environmental agents not "listed" by INAIL.
While this sentence is certainly an important step forward in terms of recognizing the oncological harm that can result from exposure to EMF, it is still unfortunately true that a year on there is still no sign of commitment to a “campagna di informazione indirizzata ad un uso appropriato e non smodato e indiscriminato del telefono cellulare” (awareness-raising campaign regarding correct, not excessive, not indiscriminate, cell phone use) demanded of the Health Ministry by the National Health Council through communication no. 226 of 15.11.2011, which followed a TV broadcast (REPORT RAI www.report.rai.it 27.11.11) on the subject, a case taken up by various leading newspapers. This commitment was recently acknowledged again, in response to a question put to the Ministry by a lawyer afflicted by a brain tumor following intense, prolonged cell phone use (La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, 08.10.12).

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