Environmental Health Trust

Landmark Case: First Court Worldwide to Recognize Causal Link Between Cell Phone Use and Brain Tumor

The Italian Court of Ivrea rules telecom employee to be paid lifetime damages for brain tumor developed after heavy cellphone use.


Teton Village, WY -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/26/2017 -- The Italian Court of Ivrea is the first Court in the world to recognize a causal link between cellphone use and brain tumors in an April 11, 2017 ruling that awarded a telecom employee, Roberto Romeo, lifetime damages of 500 euros per month after he developed a brain tumor from fifteen years of cell phone use. The ruling has made international headlines as the court's expert refused to accept telecom industry funded studies as evidence.

"Judgment recognizes the causal link between a brain tumor and the use of a cell phone." This is quoted from the verdict issued by Judge Luca Fadda of the Court of Ivrea. The state social security agency must pay Romeo for the damages from the brain tumor, which resulted in loss of hearing in one ear. He had used the company cellphone for three hours per day for 15 years.

"Recent studies from the U.S National Toxicology Program found that animals develop the same types of tumors that are increased in the brains of long term cell phone users. This research adds to a significant body of evidence finding serious adverse effects from cell phone radiation. We must take steps to reduce exposures at this time," stated Devra Davis, President of the Environmental Health Trust pointing to a recently published 2017 research review by Swedish researchers Michael Carlberg and Lennart Hardell of epidemiology and laboratory studies which concluded that "RF radiation should be regarded as a human carcinogen causing glioma."

"I had no choice but to use my mobile to talk to colleagues and organise work—for 15 years I was calling all the time, from home, in the car," states Romeo as quoted in The Guardian, "I started to have the feeling of my right ear being blocked all the time and the tumour was diagnosed in 2010. Happily, it was benign but I can no longer hear anything because they had to remove my acoustic nerve."

According to the Associated Press, "The Codacons Consumer Protection agency says it is considering a class-action based on the Romeo decision to have cellphones carry health warnings in Italy, and also to have the health risks associated with cellphone use recognized generally by Italy's social security agency."

The court's expert refused to accept into evidence studies that were funded by the telecom industry. Davis pointed to several peer reviewed published research studies that have documented how industry funding is linked to the outcome on cell phone radiation studies. A 2017 literature review and meta-analysis of case–control studies published in Neurological Sciences found a significant correlation between study quality and outcome with higher quality studies showing a statistically significant association between mobile phone use and risk of brain tumor. The source of funding was found to affect the quality of results produced by the studies.

Lawyers Stefano Bertone and Renato Ambrosio stated, "For the first time in the world, a court has recognised a causal link between inappropriate use of a mobile phone and a brain tumour."

About Environmental Health Trust
EHT is a scientific virtual think tank conducting cutting-edge research on environmental health risks with some of the world's top researchers. EHT educates individuals, health professionals and communities about policy changes needed to reduce those risks. Currently, EHT is addressing health concerns about cell phones and wireless and recommends reducing exposure to reduce risk. The Environmental Health Trust maintains a regularly updated database of worldwide precautionary policies: more than a dozen countries recommend reducing wireless exposure to children.

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Carlberg, Michael and Lennart Hardell. "Evaluation of Mobile Phone and Cordless Phone Use and Glioma Risk Using the Bradford Hill Viewpoints from 1965 on Association or Causation." BioMed Research International, vol. 2017, no. 9218486, 2017.

Prasad, M., et al. "Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes." Neurological Sciences, 2017.


New York Daily News: Cell phones do cause brain tumors, Italian court rules
Court House News Service: Italian Court Finds Link Between Cell Phone Use and Tumor, Associated Press
The Guardian: Italian court rules mobile phone use caused brain tumour
Italian court rules cell phone use linked to tumor
Historical Judgment of the Tribunal of Ivrea: Using the Cellular Cause of Tumors April 20, 2017