Joel M. Moskowitz
Acoustic Neuroma and Cell Phone UseThe Associated Press recently reported that two courts in Italy, including the Italian Supreme Court, have awarded compensation to individuals who suffered from acoustic neuroma from heavy cell phone use.
"The Codacons consumer protection agency says it is considering a class-action based on the Romeo decision to have cellphones carry health warnings in Italy, and also to have the health risks associated with cellphone use recognized generally by Italy's social security agency."
My search of the literature identified nine peer-reviewed studies, including one cohort study, which have found evidence that long-term cell phone use is associated with increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a rare tumor on the nerve from the ear to the brain.
For excerpts from the abstracts for these nine studies see:
Italian Court: Cellphone Use Caused Brain Tumor
A court in the Italian town of Ivrea has ruled that excessive cellphone use caused an executive to develop a brain tumor and awarded him a state-funded pension, The Guardian reports. The potentially landmark ruling was made April 11, but wasn’t released to the public until Thursday. It is subject to appeal. The 57-year-old, Roberto Romeo, who has a benign tumor, testified that his work obligations meant that he used his cellphone for nearly four hours every day for 15 years. “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,” he said, noting that he doesn’t want to demonize phones but believes “we have to be more aware about how to use them.” Romeo said he actually felt the tumor develop: “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.” Romeo’s lawyers, Stefano Bertone and Renato Ambrosio, said, “Scientific studies have so far remained inconclusive on the risks of cellphone use.
Court awards pension to employee who claimed work-related use of a mobile led to him developing a benign tumour
An Italian court has ruled that excessive, work-related use of a mobile phone caused an executive to develop a benign brain tumour.
In what could become a landmark ruling, the court in the northern town of Ivrea awarded the plaintiff a state-funded pension.
The judgment, which was handed own on 11 April but only made public on Thursday, 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.