The health effects of mobile radiation are sometimes even discussed in a courtroom. Having read about a few cases which concerned different types of radiation and its impact on human health, we wanted to share some examples with you.
These are the first legal cases worldwide, which led us to believe there will be more of them. Some of these cases are connected to electrohypersensitivity and others relate to brain tumours which have developed in people who use mobile phones excessively.
These cases support the fact that mobile radiation could affect our health in various ways.
1. Marine Richard, France
In France, in 2013, there was the case of a 39-year-old woman, Marine Richard, who complained that she is allergic to electromagnetic radiation. She has known about it since she was a child because as she remembers when she was a little girl, she could actually hear the signals from TVs or radios, even if they were turned off but plugged in. She believed it was the sound of radiation.
Marine heard about EHS for the first time when she was an adult. Her life became very hard due to the fact that living in the city exposed her to all kinds of electronic devices. Finally, she was forced to move out. The electromagnetic radiation was too strong in the town and she moved to a barn in the mountains with no electricity, her life has drastically changed. She decided to ask La Maison Départementale des Personnes en Situation de Handicap (MDPSH) to pay her compensation in recognition for her electrohypersensitivity (EHS) disability. This wasn’t easy because in France EHS is not recognized as a disability.
Marine Richard’s symptoms of being electrohypersensitive were headaches, fatigue and problems with short-term memory. However, EHS is not officially considered to be an illness. When she was in court, she had to highlight the fact that all of the symptoms really make her life harder. Due to her being sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, she could not live where the EMF occurs. In modern times electronic devices are everywhere, so EHS really excludes her from living an average life.
The judges saw her point and Marine finally won a disability grant. The disability allowance was granted by a court in Toulouse and it was 800€ per month for three years. Marine said that the most important thing for her was the fact her case was a ‘breakthrough’ for people affected by electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). It was one of the first worldwide, she allowed the court to publish their decision so you can read the court papers here.
Now, after four years from the ruling, Marine claimed to be healthy. She has developed a method of dealing with electrohypersensitivity and has been helping other people who suffer from the condition. She believes that the symptoms are real and physical, not psychological, so there are ways to control them, not only by limiting exposure to radiation. She is also the founder of the Electro Hypersensitive Association in France. You can find her website here.
2. Innocente Marcolini, Italy
In 2012, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that there is a causal link between mobile phone use and brain tumours in a landmark case. This case was about Innocente Marcolini, a 60-year-old retired businessman who argued that the excessive use of his mobile phone caused a benign brain tumour. A tumour caused his face to become partially paralyzed. Marcolini has been using a mobile phone for around six hours every day for twelve years.
After the ruling, Innocente Marcolini said that he didn’t care about money but he had wanted the problem to become public because people still don’t know the risks. He used to talk with his phone pressed to his ear and the tumour was located on the trigeminal nerve, close to where his phone touched his head. Fortunately, the tumour was non-cancerous.
It is important to note that the court sided with the aggrieved because they were concerned by the results of the scientific studies on mobile radiation and its impact on human health. There is no direct link between tumours and mobile phone use but research is ongoing and more evidence has shown that such a connection may be a concern.
3. Roberto Romeo, Italy
Roberto Romeo is a 57-year-old Italian telecom worker. He used to talk on his company-issued mobile phone for three to four hours each day, for 15 years.
After all these years Romeo started feeling as though his right ear was blocked, which made it difficult for him to do his job. Roberto decided to look for medical help. Unfortunately, his inconvenience turned out to be a brain tumour. He said in one of the interviews: “The norms say that using a mobile phone for one hour a day is considered to be intense use. I went well beyond the limits.”
Happily, the tumour was benign but an acoustic nerve had to be removed. Romeo lost his hearing in one ear. He was able to prove in court that the intense usage of mobile phones was to blame for his disability. However, he did not sue the company that he worked for. Instead, he demanded a disability payment from the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority.
As evidence, Romeo’s lawyers cited a partial finding of the ongoing U.S. study run by the National Toxicology Program which investigated the incidence of brain and heart tumours in male rats exposed to doses of radio frequency radiation. We wrote about that study here. Finally, the court awarded Romeo a lifelong monthly compensation of 500 Euros ($535).
4. A telecommunications engineer, Spain
In July 2016, a ruling by the High Court of Madrid claimed that a telecommunication engineer (whose name remains unknown to the public) is permanently disabled and unable to work in his profession due to electro hypersensitivity syndrome (EHS). He was suffering from a number of symptoms, such as headaches, sleep disorders and muscle aches. His symptoms intensified while he was at work where the electromagnetic fields were present at a higher power.
The court decided that he was not able to continue working as a telecommunications engineer and advised him to change profession for one which is not connected to using electronic devices. Are there any? Could you imagine any office without WiFi or computers?
He demanded that he should be given some form of disability benefit but his petition was dismissed both in the Instance Labour Court of Madrid and in the National Institute of Social Security (INSS).
Finally, the Supreme Court of Madrid not only dismissed his claims but also gave him a piece of advice. He requested to recognize his condition as an absolute permanent disability but the truth is that EHS people can work, just not in certain environments, such as those with electricity. His electro hypersensitivity was accredited by a group of non-specific allergies.
This case shows that finding help if you are or suspect you are electrohypersensitive, is hard. First, you need to prove you are reacting negatively to electromagnetic fields. Then, you need to prove that you are not able to work because of your condition and there is no way you can change your job. This is easier said than done as it is not easy to suddenly become a shepherd if you were working as an engineer for most of your life. It is important that the High Court of Madrid has recognized electrohypersensitivity as the main cause of his disability because it means it could be relevant to other cases in future.
We wanted to show you that the impact of mobile radiation on human health is a subject of concern, even in a courtroom. In cases we have listed above it is clearly visible. Those examples show us that people who suffer from being exposed to radiation are finally becoming noticed. Electrohypersensitive people should be more confident in demanding their rights if they know that in France it was possible to officially recognize EHS as a disability. The other cases may ensure us, average mobile phone users, that it is essential to use electronic devices safely and reasonably. As scientific research has shown — and what is also followed by stories of Roberto Romeo and Innocente Marcolini — excessive use of mobile phones could be harmful and hazardous to health. As you can see, the subject of mobile radiation is serious and it is being considered in the eyes of the law.