In a victory for advocates of precaution, an Italian court has ordered the government to launch a campaign to advise the public of the health risks from mobile and cordless phones.
The information campaign must begin by July 16.
The court in Rome reached its decision last November, but the announcement was only made yesterday. The decision is here.
Today, the government announced that it would not appeal the ruling, Stefano Bertone told Microwave News. Bertone is with the law firm of Ambrosio and Commodo in Turin, and is helping represent a citizens group called APPLE, which sued to force the government to act. APPLE is an acronym for the Association for the Prevention of and Fight Against Electrosmog.
In a joint press release, three different ministries —of Health, of Environment and of Education and Research— acknowledge that there is a need to raise public awareness on how to use mobile phones safely.
“This case has important implications not only in Italy, but worldwide,” Bertone said. “At the moment, health and safety information is contained —or, I should say, buried— in cell phone manuals. This is not good enough. If it was, the court would have agreed with the government that sufficient information is already available.”
In October 2012, the Italian Supreme Court affirmed a ruling granting a claim for workers compensation filed by a businessman who claimed that his use of a cell phone for 12 years had caused a tumor to develop on one of his cranial nerves (the trigeminal nerve). Gino Angelo Levis, a founder of APPLE, was an expert witness for the plaintiff.
Today’s local coverage from La Repubblica is here, and from Corriere della Sera here.
The Associated Press story was picked up by the New York Times and the Washington Post Web pages.
APPLE’s press release is here.
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