The Court of Appeal ordered Telecom Italia to compensate one of its employees for what it considers an occupational injury.
The employee in question suffers from an acoustic neuroma, a benign (non-cancerous) tumor, also known as vestibular schwannoma, which affects the acoustic nerve. The man used his Cell phone professionally about 4 hours a day for 15 years, from 1995 to 2010, reports the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. This is a total exposure to phone waves estimated at 12,600 hours over 15 years.
A causal relationship between excessive use of phones and the development of tumors is not yet established. However, the Court of Appeal of Turin made a decision for the employee to be compensated. They confirmed the verdict handed down by the Court of Ivrea in 2017. Telecom Italia will, therefore, have to pay an annuity to its former employee for this occupational disease.
In their 36-page report, which presents a historic judgment in Italy and the world, the judges also questioned the existing scientific literature on the link between cancer and exposure to cell phone waves. They iterated that much of the scientific literature excluding carcinogenicity was in conflict of interest. Such conflict is not always disclosed thus rendering the research unreliable.
Interviewed by the Italian press agency ANSA (Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata), Alessandro Vittorio Polichetti, a researcher at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, the main technical-scientific body of the Italian National Health Service) was much more moderate and does not validate the court decision. “The hypothesis that prolonged use of mobile phones can cause head cancer is not scientifically valid,” says the researcher.
Unlike exposure to UV radiation, alcohol, and tobacco, that are considered to be proven human carcinogens, no real correlation has been established for radiofrequency radiation. Radiofrequency radiation is only classified as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Articles on the Dangers of Phones: