Italian court rules mobile phone caused tumour

Rome - In a potentially landmark case, an Italian court has ruled that excessive, work-related use of a mobile phone caused an executive to develop a benign brain tumour.

In a ruling handed down on April 11 but only made public on Thursday, the court in the northern town of Ivrea awarded the plaintiff a state-funded pension.

The ruling is subject to a possible appeal.

Roberto Romeo, 57, had testified that his work duties obliged him to use his mobile for three to four hours of each working day for 15 years.

"For the first time in the world, a court has recognised a causal link between inappropriate use of a mobile phone and a brain tumour," his lawyers, Stefano Bertone and Renato Ambrosio said in a statement.

Romeo said he did not want to demonise mobiles, "but I believe we have to be more aware about how to use them.

"I had no choice but to use my mobile to talk to colleagues and organise work - for 15 years I was calling all the time, from home, in the car.

"I started to have the feeling of my right ear being blocked all the time and the tumour was diagnosed in 2010. Happily, it was benign but I can no longer hear anything because they had to remove my acoustic nerve."

A medical expert estimated the damage to Romeo at 23% of his bodily function, prompting the judge to make a compensation award of €500 per month to be paid by INAIL, a national insurance scheme covering workplace accidents.

Scientific studies of the potential health risks of mobile phones have mostly concluded that they pose no serious risk to human health at the level of most people's use.

Heavier use may pose some risk, other studies have found, and many experts say it is too early to do a proper assessment of what is a relatively new technology.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 904 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 4998 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1069 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.42
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
21.49
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
18.89
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.25
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.3%
Platinum
1,001.22
-1.2%
Palladium
1,640.71
-0.3%
Gold
1,918.42
-0.3%
Silver
23.45
-0.7%
Brent Crude
84.90
-2.1%
Top 40
74,344
0.0%
All Share
80,325
0.0%
Resource 10
77,934
0.0%
Industrial 25
102,701
0.0%
Financial 15
16,323
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE