ITALY: tumour linked to mobile phone use recognised in PM

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The Court of Appeal of Turin has just ruled in favour of a 63-year-old former technician who was seeking recognition as an occupational disease of the benign auricular tumour of which he was a victim for having used his mobile phone at work for at least 2.5 hours a day for 13 years.

INAIL, the competent insurance body, had initially rejected his claim. But the lawyers argued that there was a causal link between the prolonged use of the mobile phone for professional reasons and the illness. They won the case, first before the Court of Aosta and then on 2 November 2022 before the Court of Appeal.

This is the second case concerning the recognition of an ear tumour that has resulted in the same decision. Already in 2020, the Court of Appeal of Turin had finally ruled in favour of a former Telecom Italia employee. The latter, assisted by the same law firm, had been awarded a monthly pension of about €350 for occupational illness due to prolonged exposure to mobile phone frequencies. INAIL challenged the decision and asked for further technical advice. The Court of Appeal heard Prof. Roberto Albera, a specialist in ear, nose and throat at the University of Turin, who confirmed the high probability between the exposure to radio frequencies and the patient’s illness.

It should be noted that in 2012, the Italian Court of Cassation recognised as an occupational disease a brain tumour suffered by a senior executive as a result of intensive mobile phone use.

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