By Emma Little and Michael Day
MOBILE phones CAN cause brain tumors, according to a landmark court ruling.
Italian businessman Innocente Marcolini, 60, fell ill after using a handset at work for up to six hours every day for 12 years.
Now Italy’s Supreme Court in Rome has blamed his phone. Experts have predicted a flood of legal actions from victims.
Stricken Mr Marcolini last night warned: “People must be told the risks.”
He was diagnosed with a brain tumor after complaining of head and chin pains.
And yesterday his country’s Supreme Court stated there was a “causal link” between his heavy phone use and the growth.
British scientists have claimed there is insufficient evidence to prove any link to mobiles.
But after the Rome court ruling, Mr Marcolini said: “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 recognized that there was a link between my illness and the use of mobile and cordless phones.
“Parents need to know their children are at risk of this illness.”
Respected oncologist and professor of environmental mutagenesis Angelo Gino Levis gave evidence for Mr Marcolini — along with neurosurgeon Dr Giuseppe Grasso.
They said electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile and cordless phones can damage cells, making tumors more likely. Prof Levis told The Sun: “The court decision is extremely important. It finally officially recognizes the link.
“It’ll open not a road but a motorway to legal actions by victims. We’re considering a class action.
“Tumors due to radiation may not appear for 15 years, so three to five-year studies don’t find them.
“We’ll only realize in years to come the damage phones can cause children.” Mr Marcolini’s tumor was discovered in the trigeminal nerve — close to where the phone touched his head. It is benign but threatened to kill him as it spread to the carotid artery, the major vessel carrying blood to his brain.
His face was left paralyzed and he takes daily morphine for pain.
Alasdair Philips of Powerwatch, which campaigns for more research on mobile use, said: “This is an interesting case and proves the need for more studies.
“People should limit mobile and cordless use until we know more.”
The World Health Organization urged limits on mobile use last year, calling them a Class B carcinogen. But a spokesman for Britain’s Health Protection Agency said: “The scientific consensus is that mobile phones do not cause cancer.”
International radiation biology expert Michael Repacholi said: “Studies show no evidence of cancer. But if you are worried, use a headset, hands-free or loudspeaker.”
Media lawyer Mark Stephens said the verdict could “open the floodgates” — even though there is no direct obligation on British courts to follow the Italians’ lead.
He said: “It is possible people will begin legal action here, but I think the chances of success are less. I think they’ll join any class action in Italy.”
Jury out for 12yrs
May 2000: Government’s Stewart Report warns kids to avoid mobiles due to unknown effects of microwave radiation.
October 2005: British Journal of Cancer says no substantial risk of brain tumors in first ten years of mobile use.
October 2007: Britain’s Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Program finds no link to ill health.
May 2011: Council of Europe warns mobiles should be banned from classrooms over “potentially harmful” effects.
June 2012: World Health Organization says “some” cancer risk.
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