Updated 24 May, 2013, 3:57 pm IST
Heavy mobile phone use can cause brain tumour: Italian Supreme Court
| by Anuradha Shetty |
Here’s one court ruling that will make you shift uncomfortably in your seat. The Supreme Court in Italy has ruled that mobile phones can cause brain tumour.
The Sun reports that after using his handset at work for almost 6 hours a day for 12 years, 60-year old Italian businessman Innocente Marcolini began experiencing head and chin pains. Soon after, he was diagnosed with brain tumour. Italy’s Supreme Court in Rome, reportedly has blamed Marcolini's phone for his ailment, citing a ‘causal link’ between the excessive phone usage and the growth. British scientists, however, have added that there isn't enough evidence to back this claim.
With this, another round of debate on the potential hazards of excessive use of mobile phones has been set rolling, the other one being cancer.
Brain tumours linked to heavy mobile use (Image Credit: Getty Images)
An obviously disturbed Marcolini said that people should be made aware of the risks. He was quoted as saying, “This is significant for very many people. I wanted this problem to become public because many people still do not know the risks. I was on the phone, usually the mobile, for at least five or six hours every day at work. I wanted it recognised that there was a link between my illness and the use of mobile and cordless phones."
According to the report, notable oncologist and professor of environmental mutagenesis Angelo Gino Levis has backed Marcolini's claims, along with neurosurgeon Dr Giuseppe Grasso.
Electromagnetic radiation from mobile and cordless phones could potentially damage cells, triggering tumours. Prof Levis was quoted as saying, “The court decision is extremely important. It finally officially recognises the link. It’ll open not a road but a motorway to legal actions by victims. We’re considering a class action. Tumours due to radiation may not appear for 15 years, so three to five-year studies don’t find them. We’ll only realise in years to come the damage phones can cause children.”
Elaborating upon Marcolini’s ailment, the report shares that the tumour was detected in the trigeminal nerve — near the spot where the phone touched his head. Although benign, the tumour was life threatening as it spread to the carotid artery, i.e., the major vessel carrying blood to his brain.
Closer home, mobile phone radiation has been a topic of longstanding worry. As part of a set of precautionary guidelines the government has issued for mobile users, it advised them to keep distance between the body and the phone, by either using the speakerphone option or headsets.
These guidelines are in line with an earlier mention. In December last year, the government had declared that hands-free, which till then may have been just another accessory bundled up with a mobile phone, would soon be made mandatory to be provided with all mobile phones. The reason was that using hands-free, as opposed to answering calls the usual way, is being seen as an effective way of steering clear of radiation emissions. Switching over to SMS or other non-voice modes of communication too is preferable for evading radiation.
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