Cell Phone Gave Man a Tumor, According to Major Court Ruling
October 19, 2012 |
Like this article?
Join our email list:
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
If you’re reading this article on your cell phone--you may want to stop. The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that a man’s cell phone was to blame for his tumor--reigniting fears across the globe that excessive cell phone use can, in fact, be dangerous.
Leading scientists have already flagged cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic,” and the World Health Organization issued a tentative warning last year that the cell phones may cause a type of brain cancer called glioma.
“The WHO's verdict means that there is some evidence linking mobile phones to cancer but it is too weak to draw strong conclusions from,” Ed Yong, head of health information at Cancer Research UK explained to the BBC after the organization announced the “possibly carcinogenic” classification. However, due to the lack of long-term studies and the insistent denial by the mobile phone industry, leading science organizations and courts have been unwilling to establish an affirmative link between phones and brain tumors.
But the Italian Supreme Court ruling affirms a “casual link” between a businessman’s excessive daily cell phone use and the growing tumor in his trigeminal nerve. The tumor, which grew very close to where the cell phone came into contact with the man’s head, has already paralyzed half of his face and has threatened to take his life as it spreads closer to a major artery.
Scientists who have long tried to make the establishment recognize the dangers of cell phone use believe that this ruling will open a “motorway” for victims of cell phone’s potentially deadly radiation.
"The court decision is extremely important. It finally officially recognizes the link,” oncology professor Angelo Gino Levis told the Telegraph. The professor testified on behalf of the Italian plaintiff. "It'll open not a road but a motorway to legal actions by victims. We're considering a class action."
This ruling is one of the first vindications for scientists who have disputed the reliability of large international studies that were funded by the mobile phone industry itself. For example, one of the world’s most extensive and oft-cited studies, conducted by an arm of the World Health Organization and published in 2010, was f unded by both the European Commission and the mobile phone industry. The results of that study concluded, “overall, no increase in risk of glioma or meningioma was observed with use of mobile phones.” (A representative of the study has since asserted that there was a “firewall” between the scientists and the funders, which intended to ensure that there was no contact between the two parties.)
Up until this point, the concerns about the cancer risk of cell phones has not stopped the growing global market and the increasing reliance on mobile phones. In fact, a British poll earlier this year concluded that 66 percent of people are terrified of being separated from their cell phones, an increasing fear that researchers are calling “nomophobia.”
Whether the Italian court ruling will cause people to realize that tumors are scarier than being separated from Twitter remains to be seen.