A court in the Italian town of Ivrea has ruled that excessive cellphone use caused an executive to develop a brain tumor and awarded him a state-funded pension, The Guardian reports. The potentially landmark ruling was made April 11, but wasn’t released to the public until Thursday. It is subject to appeal. The 57-year-old, Roberto Romeo, who has a benign tumor, testified that his work obligations meant that he used his cellphone for nearly four hours every day for 15 years. “I had no choice but to use my mobile to talk to colleagues and organize work—for 15 years I was calling all the time, from home, in the car,” he said, noting that he doesn’t want to demonize phones but believes “we have to be more aware about how to use them.” Romeo said he actually felt the tumor develop: “I started to have the feeling of my right ear being blocked all the time and the tumor was diagnosed in 2010. Happily, it was benign but I can no longer hear anything because they had to remove my acoustic nerve.” Romeo’s lawyers, Stefano Bertone and Renato Ambrosio, said, “For the first time in the world, a court has recognized a causal link between inappropriate use of a mobile phone and a brain tumor.” Scientific studies have so far remained inconclusive on the risks of cellphone use.
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