Times of Swaziland 29 march 2014
Times of Swaziland 15 march 2014
Italy court ruling links mobile phone use to tumor
Italy’s supreme court has upheld a ruling that said there was a link between a businessexecutive’s brain tumor and his heavy mobile phone usage, potentially opening the door to further legal claims. The court’s decision flies in the face of much scientific opinion, which generally says there is not enough evidence to declare a link between mobile phone use and diseases such as cancer and some experts said the Italian ruling should not be used to draw wider conclusions about the subject. “Great caution is needed before we jump to conclusions about mobile phones and brain tumors,” said Malcolm Sperrin, director of medical physics and clinical engineering at Britain’s Royal Berkshire Hospital. The Italian case concerned company director Innocenzo Marcolini who developed a tumor in the left side of his head after using his mobile phone for 5-6 hours a day for 12 years. He normally held the phone in his left hand, while taking notes with his right hand. Marcolini developed a so-called neurinoma affecting a cranial nerve, which was apparently not cancerous but nevertheless required surgery that badly affected his quality of life. He initially sought financial compensation from the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority INAIL which rejected his application, saying there was no proof his illness had been caused by his work. But a court in Brescia later ruled there was a causal link between the use of mobile and cordless telephones and tumors.
Italy’s supreme court rejected an INAIL appeal against that ruling on October 12 though its decision was only reported on Friday. It said the lower court’s decision was justified and that scientific evidence advanced in support of the claim was reliable. Marcolini’s situation had been “different from normal, non-professional use of a mobile telephone”, it said. The evidence was based on studies conducted between 2005-2009 by a group led by Lennart Hardell, a cancer specialist at the University Hospital in Orebro in Sweden. The court said the research was independent and “unlike some others, was not co-financed by the same companies that produce mobile telephones”. (Reporting By Virginia Alimenti; Additional reporting by Naomi O’Leary and Kate Kelland in London; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
Mobile phones cause ‘five-fold increase in brain cancer risk’
People who started using mobile as teenagers and have been doing so for more than a decade are at a five-fold risk of developing a common type of brain cancer, new evidence indicates.
The Swedish study found large increased incidence of astrocytoma, the most common form of a malignant brain tumour type
called glioma, in those who had been using mobiles for over 10 years. The study suggests the younger you start using a mobile, the more at risk you are from developing brain cancer Campaigners said the research, published in the International Journal of Oncology, was further evidence of the need to educate children of the potential dangers of talking on mobile phones. Researchers from the University Hospital of Örebro and Umeå University examined the mobile and cordless phone use of more than 1,200 Swedes, who were diagnosed with malignant brain cancer between 1997 and 2003. Of those, the 905 who were still alive were interviewed about their phone usage. For the remaining 346 who had died., researchers asked their relatives about their loved-ones’ telephone habits. They then compared this to phone use
information on almost 2,500 ‘controls’ who were either living and had no brain cancer, or had died of other causes. Each ‘case’ and each ‘control’ was matched for age, sex and social class.
People who started using mobiles as teenagers, and have done so for at least 10 years, were 4.9 times more likely to develop astrocytoma, compared to controls. Worringly, the comparable figure for cordless home phones – which are very similar to mobiles in terms of radiation emission – was almost as high, at 3.9. Looking at the whole group, regardless of age of first ise of mobile or cordless phone, they found that usage for more than 10 years increased the risk of all malignant tumours by 30 per cent, and astrocytomas in particular by 40 per cent. The study comes weeks after the International Agency for Research on
Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, stated that radiation from handsets was “possibly carcinogenic”, although it stopped short of declaring there was a clear link. The Department of Health advises that “children and young people under 16 should be encouraged to use mobile phones for essential purposes only, and to keep calls short”. Alasdair Philips, director of the campain group Powerwatch, said studies like the Swedish one “highlighted the need to teach our children that mobile phone use can be very dangerous to their long-term health”.
Instead of calling they should text or use “air-tube” hands-free headsets which eliminated the risk of radiation, he said. Although an increasing number of people wear Bluetooth wireless headsets or standard wired earplugs, both still carry the risk of radiation – the former because it is itself a transmitter, and the latter because radiation can pass down the wire into the ear. Air-tubes, such as the Air2Hear, cut radiation exposure to the brain to almost zero by replacing the last six inches of wire with a hollow tube down. According to official cancer registeries, there are about 8,600 diagnoses of ‘primary’ brain tumour per year in the UK. However, according to the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, it is “widely accepted that these figures are an under-estimate of the actual numbers”.
The true number could be almost double that, the charity fears. A spokesman said: “The human cost is alarming. Malignant primary brain tumours take more years off the average person’s life than any other cancer. They are the most significant cause of cancer death amongst men under 45 and women under 35, and approximately 500 children are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour each year. “Neil Dickson, founder of the charity, said of the Swedish study: “The findings do give us cause for concern. “We have contributed to a recent paediatric study in Europe and we are waiting the full results from this so together with reports such as this, it is clear to us that further research is urgently needed in this area.”
Mobile phone users face a “brain tumour pandemic” according to campaigners who say that the health risks of using handsets have been under-estimated.
The world’s 4billion mobile phone users are advised to keep handsets away from their heads Photo: GETTY
By Martin Beckford
A study warns that the danger of heavy mobile use is 25 per cent greater than was suggested in a recently published landmark investigation. The new report claims that the £15million, decade-long Interphone study was so flawed that all of the risk levels it produced must be increased significantly. It says that the world’s 4billion mobile phone users should keep handsets away from their heads and bodies to lower the increased risk of developing cancer, and that governments should strengthen their public health warnings on the topic. However cancer charities said the new claims were “overblown”. Lloyd Morgan, a member of America’s Environmental Health Trust lobby group, said: “What we have discovered indicates there is going to be one hell of a brain tumour pandemic unless people are warned and encouraged to change current cell phone use behaviours. “Governments should not soft-peddle this critical public health issue but instead rapidly educate citizens on the risks.
Interphone, the long-delayed study into the potential health risks of mobile phone use set up by an agency of the UN’s World Health Organisation and carried out in 13 countries, concluded last month that making calls for more than half an hour a day could increase users’ risk of developing brain cancer by as much as 40 per cent. But the researchers admitted the results were not conclusive and could have been affected by statistical error or bias. Now Mr Morgan, an electronic engineer, has re-assessed Interphone’s findings to take into account its flaws. He believes its main problem was “selection bias”. Many of the healthy subjects chosen for comparison with tumour sufferers were likely to be mobile phone users themselves, while others whose experience would have been useful to the study were either too ill to take part or refused to do so. Mr Morgan believes the “systemic underestimation of risk” in Interphone means that the true risk of developing brain tumours for mobile phone users is at least 25 per cent higher than previously thought.
One of the Interphone studies found a 24 per cent increased risk of glioma – the most common type of brain tumour – from “regular” use on the same side of the head as the handset was held. But this rose to 55 per cent under Mr Morgan’s analysis, and after 10 years or more the risk doubled for those who use mobiles just at least once a week. However Ed Yong, head of health information for Cancer Research UK, said: “The warnings of a ‘brain tumour pandemic’ are overblown. “The majority of studies in people have found no link between mobile phones and cancer, national brain cancer rates have not increased in proportion to skyrocketing phone use and there are still no good consistent explanations for how mobile phones could cause cancer. “Even after the minor adjustments reported in this new analysis, the results from the overall Interphone study are still either not statistically significant, or right on the borderline. “This means that any link between mobile phones and cancer that the conference presentation quotes could well be down to chance or anomalies in the data they collected.”
San Francisco faces wireless industry in court over radiation warnings
The city’s law requiring cell phone retailers to disclose possible health risks from cell phone radiation will have an important day in court today.
by Marguerite Reardon
The City of San Francisco will face off in court with the wireless industry today in a hearing that may determine if the local government will be allowed to force retailers selling cell phones within city limits to disclose possible health risks to consumers before they buy mobile devices. In 2010, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and then-mayor Gavin Newsom approved legislation that would require manufacturers to provide information about the potential health risks associated with using cell phones. Specifically, the ordinance required retailers to put up posters in stores that sell cell phones warning of potential risks. It also required that a sticker be affixed on the outside of cell phone packaging providing information about the SAR level, a specific absorption rate at a level defined by the Federal Communications Commission, and a fact sheet that offered more information about the potential risks of using cell phones as well as information about how to reduce exposure.
The CTIA, the wireless lobbying association representing handset makers and cell phone carriers, sued the city, arguing that these requirements violate the industry’s First Amendment rights and also pre-empt the federal standard set by the FCC that ensures cell phone safety.In October, U.S. District Judge William Alsup struck down the city’s sticker and poster requirements. But he upheld the city’s right to distribute “fact sheets” about potential risks, provided the city tone down rhetoric. The CTIA is appealing this decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals, and it’s asking for an injunction against issuing the “fact sheet.” Meanwhile, the city, which in Judge Alsup’s judgment lost two of the three warning methods in the original ordinance, is also appealing the former decision, asking the three-judge panel for the Court of Appeals to re-instate the other pieces of the ordinance.The case is significant in the ongoing battle between those who believe that low levels of radiation from long-term cell phone use can be hazardous and those who say that cell phone use is not at all dangerous. And if the city prevails in court, it could pave the way for other state and local governments to pass similar legislation of their own. And it may bolster the chances of a new federal law.
Earlier this week, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced a bill called The Cell Phone Right to Know Act that would put warning labels on cell phones and require the Environmental Protection Agency to update the RF energy absorption rates. The bill also calls for more research to be conducted on the potential health risks.A CTIA representative said the association hasn’t issued a formal statement on the legislation yet. But he did say that the CTIA supports more research being conducted. That said, the CTIA views requiring labels or warnings on devices an infringement of the First Amendment.”The government can’t compel a private party to express an opinion that it disagrees with,” said Andrew McBride, an attorney with the Washington, D.C. firm Wiley Rein LLP, who will argue the CTIA’s case in front of the U.S. Appeals Court today. He added that the information the city wants to provide to cell phone consumers is opinion and not fact.To be fair, the science on the issue of whether cell phones are harmful is conflicting. Some research suggests there are legitimate health concerns while other studies conclude there is no cause and effect between cell phone use and cancer or any other health issues. Still, in spite of the conflicting information, the World Health Organization a year ago called cell phone radiation a “carcinogenic hazard,” putting it in the same category as other possible carcinogens like lead and exhaust from gasoline. On Tuesday the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report calling for the FCC, which has oversight of cell phones, to revise its standards. The agency reviewed several studies and concluded that the FCC’s standards, which were established in 1996, may be out of date. “The FCC energy exposure limit may not reflect the latest research, and testing requirements may not identify maximum exposure in all possible usage conditions,” the GAO report said. The FCC’s current standard looks at what’s called specific absorption rate or SAR. This rate measures the rate at which radio frequencies are absorbed by a section of tissue. The FCC’s current SAR limit is a maximum of 1.6 watts per kilogram for any wireless device sold in the U.S. Vince Chhabria, a deputy city attorney for San Francisco, who will argue the city’s position in court, said that the GAO’s report supports the city’s argument that warnings are needed because of the lingering concerns about the long-term effects of cell phone radiation exposure.
“This report confirms what was already obvious,” he said. “New information keeps coming up about the relationship between cell phone use and health risks, such as cancer. And we think the public is better served if they’re given the opportunity to take a closer look at this new information. “But the CTIA actually thinks that the GAO report may help its argument. The GAO report states that there is no evidence to date that proves cell phone use is a risk to consumers’ health. And the report suggests that the U.S. align its standards with standards used in Europe, which could actually raise the exposure level or SAR higher than where it it is today.
Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuit Alleges Illinois Man Developed Brain Tumor Following Years of Heavy Cell Phone Use
Bernstein Liebhard LLP has filed a cell phone radiation lawsuit on behalf of an Illinois man who developed a brain tumor in his left frontal lobe, allegedly due to years of extensive cell phone use.
As evidence of the harmful side effects of cell phone radiation continues to accumulate, we expect that more consumers will pursue similar claims in the near future.
New York, New York (PRWEB)
An Illinois man and his wife have filed a cell phone radiation lawsuit against several mobile phone manufacturers, after the man was diagnosed with a brain tumor in his left frontal lobe, Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports. The lawsuit, which was filed on November 6, 2012 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, alleges that years of heavy mobile phone use and exposure to cell phone radiation, caused the Plaintiff’s brain tumor. (Case No. 0008533-12)“As evidence of the harmful side effects of cell phone radiation continues to accumulate, we expect that more consumers will pursue similar claims in the near future,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm which is currently part of a small legal consortium representing individuals in cell phone radiation lawsuits.
Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuit Allegations
The lawsuit alleges the adverse health effects suffered by the Plaintiff are a direct consequence of his exposure to the radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by the cell phones he used. The complaint further alleges the Defendants were aware of numerous studies and experiments demonstrating the health hazards of RF radiation that date back to the late 1940s, yet continue to maintain to the public at large that cell phones are absolutely safe. The studies cited by the complaint include the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Interphone study, which found that use of cell phones for a 10 year period can increase the risk of developing brain tumors called glioblastomas by 40% in adults. Following the publication of the Interphone study, the WHO’s International Agency on Research for Cancer classified cell phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans.*
In a landmark ruling announced last month, the Italian Supreme Court ruled cell phone radiation can cause brain cancer, finding a causal link between a man’s heavy cell phone use and a brain tumor he developed.** The judicial finding that cell phones can cause brain cancer is backed by a growing body of research that suggests long-term exposure to cell phone radiation increases the risk for brain tumors, according to Bernstein Liebhard LLP. Individuals who suffered brain tumors or other cancers that may have been caused by cell phones, including glioma, acoustic neuroma, meningioma, or tumors of the salivary glands, may be eligible to file a cell phone radiation lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries.
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