Monday, March 24, 2014
Health ministry challenged over cancer risks of cell phones
Turin, March 20 - An association has taken legal action against the Italian health ministry for not doing enough to inform the public about the health risks of using mobile phones, it emerged Thursday. The Association for the Prevention and Fight Against Electrosmog filed a petition with the Lazio administrative tribunal on the basis of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) findings that 1,640 hours of cell phone use - the average over a 10-year period - increases the risk of developing brain cancer by 40%. The aim of the legal action is not to demonise cellphones, but rather to promote their correct use by forcing the ministry to launch a serious information campaign, lawyers acting for the association explained. The move is supported by Innocente Marcolini, a former company manager, who in 2012 won a Supreme Court battle to receive workers' compensation after developing a brain tumour due to prolonged cell phone use over a number of years. It was the first time that a high court in any country had ruled in favor of a link between mobile phone radiation and cancer. "Many people are not aware of the risk they run by talking on their cellphone without an earpiece or keeping it in their trouser pocket," said Marcolini.