Italian Court Orders Government to Launch Cell Phone Radiation Awareness Campaign
An Italian court has ordered the government to launch a campaign to advise the public of the health risks from mobile and cordless phones to begin by July 16. A citizens group called APPLE (Association for the Prevention of and Fight Against Electrosmog) sued to force the government to act. A joint press release between the Ministry of the Environment, Education and Health on the decision states the three ministries “welcome the judicial decision, convinced of the need to raise awareness on the issue and to promote prevention measures.”
In a breaking news report from Microwave News on the decision, Stefano Bertone who is helping represent APPLE, stated, “This case has important implications not only in Italy, but worldwide. 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.”
The New York Times AP reported the story in “Court orders Italian govt to publicize cellphone risks” and also cited a 2017 Italian court of Ivrea ruling that long-term use of a company-issued cell phone caused Telecom employee, Roberto Romeo’s non-cancerous brain tumor. In 2012 the Italian Supreme Court ruled that the National Institute for Workmen’s Compensation must compensate Innocente Marcolini, a 60-year-old retired businessman for his tumor due to long term cell phone use.
Over twenty countries have explicit health advice to the public to lower cell phone radiation exposure. France has issued several campaigns over the years educating their public on safer ways to use technology.
- The Regional Administrative Court for Lazio decision
- Joint press release between the Ministry of the Environment, Education and Health on the decision, January 16, 2019
News coverage on the court decision
- Local news coverage from La Repubblica
- Corriere della Sera news coverage
- AP Daily Journal Court orders Italian govt to publicize cellphone risks
- APPLE’s press release
- New York Times “Court orders Italian govt to publicize cellphone risks
More about policy and action in Italy below.
2018: The City Council of Bologna unanimously approved an initiative to inform the public about the health risks of cell phone and wireless radiation in light of the NTP and Ramazzini Institute studies. According to news reports the action calls for the Council to:
- Inform the public about the health risks of cell phone and wireless radiation
- Invite mayor Virginio Merola and the junta “to take action, including with the Emilia-Romagna Region, with the Ausl and the competent institutions, through appropriate communication channels, to launch a public information campaign, so that the population citizen is aware of the risks involved in using mobile phones inappropriately. “
- Proposes to the mayor “to request a commitment in this sense also to telephone companies”.
- Read June 26, 2018 News Report bologna.repubblica.it “The telephone companies inform about the risks of the mobile phone”: the appeal from Bologna”
2018: The Ramazzini Institute of Bologna has developed materials to share to high school students on how to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation. Click here to download PDF.
2017 Decree of the Environment Minister has recommendations on reducing EMF.
Section 126.96.36.199 of the Decree recommends reducing exposure to indoor electromagnetic pollution
- Reduce low frequency magnetic fields: “In order to reduce as far as possible the indoor exposure to low frequency magnetic fields (ELFs) induced by electrical panels, uprights, conductor dorsals, etc.” the design of the plants must provide that meters and electric panels are outside the building and take measures to reduce levels.
- Reduce Radio frequency radiation: Reduce as much as possible the indoor exposure to high-frequency magnetic fields (RF) equip with alternative data transfer systems to wi-fi, eg. cable connection or Powerline communication (PLC) technology.
- This was started by a Communication by ECC (COM(2003) 302), to European Parliament about: Integrated Product Policy: Develop the concept of “environmental lifecycle.
- Read the 2017 Decree of the Environment Minister page 20-21.
Italian Decree of 8 July 2003 (electric and magnetic fields of power lines): Intervention level 10 microteslas (µT) for existing installations at playgrounds, flats, schools and areas where people stay 4 hours per day or more. Quality objective = 3 microteslas (µT) for new lines and for plannings. There are more stringent guidelines in three regions: 0,2 microteslas (µT)
Occupational Safety Database: National database of emission levels of equipment funded by Ministry of Health, regarding occupational exposure to physical agents including EMF www.portaleagentifisici.it
The site is managed and upgraded by INAIL, in cooperation with Tuscany regional authority, and local occupational safety and prevention Departments of Siena and Modena cities. The development of the web site is absolutely relevant in the frame of public information activities, specifically designed for occupational safety.
2017: The Italian Court of Ivrea ruling recognizes causal link between cellphone use and brain tumor.
- Italian court is the first in the world to recognize this causal link in an April 11, 2017 ruling which awarded a Telecom employee, Roberto Romeo, lifetime damages of 500 euros a month after he developed a brain tumor from fifteen years of cellphone use.
- Original Ruling
- Press Release EHT
- The Guardian News Article: “Italian court rules mobile phone use caused brain tumour”
- NY Daily News Article: “Italian Court Finds Link Between Cell Phone Use and Tumor”
- Courthouse News Service Article: “Italian Court Finds Link Between Cell Phone Use and Tumor”
2016: Mayor of Borgofranco d’Ivrea ordered Wi-Fi to be turned off in schools. “Mayor Livio Tola told the town’s high school and elementary school to return to using cables to connect to the internet after reading that the electromagnetic waves given off by wireless routers were especially harmful to young children.”
- The Local News Article: “Italian town shuts down wifi over health fears.”
- Torino News Article: “Ivrea, The Mayor Removes WiFi as it Could Be Dangerous”.
2015: State Parliament of South Tyrol voted to confirm the precautionary principle: The State Government was mandated:
- To replace existing wireless networks whenever possible with networks that emit less radiation at schools, preschools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other public facilities.
- Establish a working group whose mandate it is to assess these new technologies and their exposure levels. With regard to wireless communication technologies, mobile Internet access, and public health, the working group shall clarify which technologies emit less radiation and provide sustainable technology options and
- To start an education and awareness campaign that informs about possible health risks, especially regarding the unborn, infants, children, and adolescents and that develops guidelines for a safer use of cell phones, smartphones, and Wi-Fi.
- Previous Hearing at the Parliament of South Tyrol, 29 April 2015 – “hearing on the effects of mobile radio”
- Discussion at the Plenary Session: “Mobile Communications, Refugees”
- Kompetenzinitiative News Article: “Parliament of South Tyrol Reconfirms Precautionary Principle”
- Official Resolution – “WLAN, mobile radio, radiation exposure: does the precautionary principle apply”
2012 Italian Supreme Court Ruling: Man’s brain tumor was caused by his cell phone use.
- The National Institute for Workmen’s Compensation must compensate a worker with head tumor due to cell use.
- Reuters News Article – “Italy court ruling links mobile phone use to tumor”
- RT News Article – “Cancer cells: Italian court rules ‘mobile phones can cause brain tumors’”
- Daily Mail News Article – Mobile phones CAN cause brain tumours, court rules in landmark case.
Lecce, Italy, “Istituto Comprensivo Alighieri- Diaz” School banned wifi: Their two resolutions decided:
- To ban wifi in school and install a wired system for the use of internet and reject the request of the local government (Municipality) to install an antenna on the school roof for the wireless signal providing for the “Wireless city” program.
- The resolution also asks the Municipality to install the antenna at a reasonable distance from school.
The Piemonte Region Council adopted a resolution to limit EMF exposure by limiting the use of wifi in schools and be considerate to the problem of EHS people.
- Original Resolution – “Adoption of the Precautionary Principle exposition Installations in Wireless Environments in School”
The Italian Society for Preventive and Social Pediatrics has officially called to prohibit cell phones for children under 10 years old.
- Giuseppe Di Mauro, president of the Italian Society of social and preventive pediatrics [Società italiana di pediatria preventiva e sociale (www.sipps.it)] “We do not know all the consequences associated with cell phone use, but excessive use could can lead to concentration and memory loss, increase in aggressiveness and sleep disturbances.” and he cites electromagnetic fields stating“The damage to health are increasingly evident”
- Il Tirreno Tuscany News Article – “Pediatricians: Phone Alarm for Kids”
2016 – Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino laid out plans “to cut back on Wi-Fi in state schools and government buildings over concerns that radiation might damage people’s health”.
- The Local News Report “Turin could slash Wi-Fi over ‘radiation’ concerns”