Italian court attributes brain tumor to cell phone radiation
Can Cell Phones Cause Cancer? There are indeed scientific studies that indicate that radiation from mobile telephones increases the risk of developing a brain tumor, but not all experts are sure whether there is such a connection. However, Italian judges have now recognized a tumor as an occupational disease of a frequent caller.
Cell phone radiation as a risk factor for brain tumors
A study by the private Jacobs University Bremen came to the conclusion years ago that cell phone radiation can promote cancer growth - at least in mice. Other scientific studies have also suggested that cell phone radiation is a risk factor for brain tumors. However, many scientists doubt that there is such a connection. Nevertheless, a court in Italy has now recognized a tumor as an occupational disease of a frequent caller.
Relationship between cell phone use and cancer confirmed
In Italy, judges have confirmed the link between cell phone use and cancer. According to a message from the dpa news agency, Roberto Romeo, who previously worked as a manager for a large telecommunications company, was right when he went to court against his employer.
He had been on the phone for several hours a day in his job for 15 years. A tumor was diagnosed a few years ago. The Italian has been deaf in one ear since an operation that involved removing the right ear auditory nerve.
The judges in Ivrea have now confirmed a causal connection between his cell phone use and the cancer. This enables Romeo to receive a monthly disability pension. However, the judgment is not yet final.
The Italian media has reported a lot about the dangers of electromagnetic waves in connection with the process. Headlines such as "The cell phone provokes cancer" appeared.
Controversial among experts
However, it is controversial among experts whether cell phone radiation can harm health. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned in the past of the high-frequency electromagnetic radiation used in mobile communications.
However, the Dutch Health Council reported a study that sees no such mobile phone risk.
According to the Dutch scientists, after evaluating all the studies, it was “highly unlikely” that the high-frequency electromagnetic fields in mobile communications could trigger or promote the development of cancer.
According to a study by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), there are no indications of a harmful effect of mobile radio within the valid limit values.
A spokeswoman for the BfS said according to dpa: "Current studies currently give no evidence of a connection between cell phone radiation on the one hand and tumor diseases on the other."
Careful use of mobile phones recommended
The Austrian “Scientific Advisory Board on Radio” (WBF), which has evaluated numerous scientific papers on the subject in the past, writes: “From an epidemiological point of view, it is currently not possible to make a definitive and definitive statement about mobile phone technology with regard to the risk or non-risk of cancer be done. "
And further: "Due to the uncertainty of the results of studies on the connection between mobile phone use and the development of cancer that are available to date, careful use of mobile telephony is still recommended until a correspondingly large number of high-quality studies are available and a final assessment of a possible risk is made possible."
"Everyone can reduce their radiation exposure through relatively simple behavioral measures," said the spokeswoman for the BfS in the dpa report.
Possible measures: landline instead of mobile phone, texting instead of phone calls - or using a headset to increase the distance between the device and the head and body. "Every inch helps to reduce the absorption of radiation."
Judgment also conceivable in Germany
So, although no conclusive conclusions can be made about long-term effects, the judges in Italy have nevertheless drawn their own conclusions. The dpa news agency asks whether such a judgment would also be possible in Germany.
The chairman of the Higher Regional Court in Hamm and deputy chairman of the German Judges Association, Joachim Lüblinghoff, said: "Nothing is unthinkable." It is crucial for a judgment that the damage is proven.
"In the case of a brain tumor, we would have to have a specialist for it, an oncologist, a neurosurgeon or another specialist who can explain the causal chain to us," says the lawyer.
If the specialist came to the view that in the specific case it was highly likely that cell phone use was decisive for the cancer, the full evidence would be provided.
However, the evidence can also be used in the exclusion procedure. However, this is problematic, as it is known that cancer can also arise by chance.
Judgment should not spread fear
In the Romeo case, the physician and medical doctor Paolo Crosignani was the expert who advised the judges. In the Italian newspaper "La Stampa" he warned against simple generalizations: "As with so many things, the risk often depends on the dose."
In the current case, two factors would have increased the risk extremely. According to the information, Romeo mostly used an old cell phone that emitted higher radio frequencies than, say, smartphones. The tumor was also a rare form.
Romeo himself said that he did not want the verdict to spread fear. Rather, he wanted to draw attention to the responsible use of the cell phone. (ad)