Cancer and smartphones, Turin’s Appeals Court confirms the risks

Cancer risk increasing for smartphone users?

There may be a link between cancer and smartphones – according to Turin’s Appeals Court.

There’s been many talks in the last few yearsabout the risk of developing cancer from prolonged cellphone usage. One could even say it’s old news, as the alert had been issued several years ago, when the very first cellphones started being mass-produced.

Many believed that cellphones radiations may be harmful for the human brain.

Prolonged and uncontrolled use of cellphones would allegedly increase the risk of developing cancer, especially brain tumors.

With the release of new, increasingly advanced smartphones, the health concerns all but dwindled. And Turin’s Appeals Court recently deemed it feasible that using  a smartphone for too long time may lead to an increased risk of contracting cancer.

Using a smartphone for too long may cause cancer

Nowadays almost everyone owns a smartphone and lives “constantly” connected.

Smartphones play a pivotal role in our everyday routine; from our email to info on public transport to weather forecast and even healthcare.

Acording to the Turin’s Appeals Court, however, smartphones may be carcinogenic. Especially if used continuously for long periods of time.

Using smartphones for too long may lead to brain cancer
Brain cancer may be caused by excessive smartphone usage

Unsurprisingly, the issue had come up before. Even WHO – World Healthcare Organization – had looked into the matter, with somehow worrisome results.

However, the scientific world is torn on the matter and not everyone thinks that the increase of brain tumors all over the world may be due to a prolonged use of smartphones.

WHO’s research on brain tumors and smartphones

Back in 2011, WHO – World Healthcare Organization – had taken into account that brain tumors were rapidly spreading among smartphone users. 

A research on the collateral damage of using smartphones for too long took into account a wide array of data over the span of twenty  years.

L'Oms ha indagato i collegamenti fra tumori e cellulari
In 2011 WHO – World Healthcare Organization – researched the risks of developing brain cancer by spending too much time on the phone

WHO estimated that the electromagnetic fields emitted by smartphones are “possibly carcinogenic” – falling into group B2.

The organization also adviced user to limit the time they spent on the phone, relying on ear plugs. Wireless ear plugs may be preferable as the brain wouldn’t be directly exposed to harmful radiations for too long.

Turin’s Appeals Court ruling

However, WHO pointed out that there wasn’t enough proof that smartphone use, in itself, may cause brain cancer.

On January 14th 2020, the ruling of Turin’s Appeals Court deemed otherwise. The case was brought up by Roberto Romeo, a former Telecom Italia employee who contracted acoustic neuroma.

Usare troppo il cellulare fa male secondo la Corte d'Appello
According to the Turin’s Appeals Court, prolonged use of smartphones may be noctious for human health

While the disease qualifies as a benign tumor, it’s still incapacitating. Allegedly, Romeo contracted the neuroma after continuously using his smartphone for work – for over fifteen years.

Turin’s Appeals Court ruled that Roberto Romeo suffers from occupational disease – and warned off the possible risks of smartphone usage.

“The increase of brain tumors”, according to the Appeals Court, may be directly proportional to the time we spend on phone. But the higher risk of contracting cancer and other diseases might also have to do with how – and not just how much – we use our smartphone. For example, organs and tissues are more exposed to dangerous radiations if we keep the phone in bed or don’t use ear plugs.

Cancer increase and the opinion of scientists

But science has something else to say. Specifically, not all scientists think the risk of developing brain cancer is as high as the Appeals Court makes it sounds.

According to Roberto Romeo‘s attorney, it could only take half a hour at the phone for eight years straight to contract brain cancer. But many scientists have argued that there isn’t concrete evidence of this statement.

According to the National Institute of Health, there may not be a link between smartphone usage and the development of brain cancer, or any other  kind of tumor.

La scienza è divisa sull'argomento tumori e cellulari
Scientists could find no evidence of a link between brain cancer and smartphones radiations

“No correlation between smartphones and cancer has yet been established”, stated Iarc (Agenzia Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro) way back in 2011.

As of it, there’s simply no way to know for certain if a link between cancer and smartphones really exists at all.

However, scientists and researchers agree that it would be preferable to limit any excess in the use of smartphones – for as Latins put it, in medio stat virtus.

This post is also available in: Italiano

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