On October 12th 2012, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that use of mobile and cordless phones can cause brain tumor. In this landmark decision, the results from the Swedish research group led by oncologist and epidemiologist Dr Lennart Hardell at the Örebro University Hospital were important. Hardell’s group has consistently found that mobile and cordless phones increase the risk of brain tumors.
The ruling gave credit to the Italian businessman Innocente Marcolini and that his severe disease was caused by his intense use of the microwave emitting devices. However it was not applauded by everybody. Professor Alexander Lerchl at the Jacobs University in Germany was among those who did not. Instead he joined a group of persons who already a decade ago went fishing for something smearing about Hardell.
The catch is an old report from the mid 1980’s about a totally different and since more than a decade settled issue: the chemical dioxin as a carcinogen to humans. Hardell and his former group at the Umeå University Hospital in Sweden found repeatedly during the 1980’s that dioxin increased risks of cancer among exposed workers. Dioxin was a decade later, in 1997, classified by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a first class cancer causing agent (Group 1) based on not only later epidemiological evidence from the 1990’s confirming Hardell’s results, but also sufficient evidence in experimental animals and extensive mechanistic results about its cancer causing properties.1
Still Hardell is considered to be “a problem”. The reason seems to be his research focus on agents that cause cancer among humans, not only chemical exposure but perhaps more importantly his focus during the last decade: mobile phones. A focus that confronts the concern of a multibillion-dollar industry, namely the threats that any results showing increasing risks of brain tumors from mobile phone use entail. Such results may severely impact this very economic powerful and influential industry.
Already in 2002 and nine years later in 2011 some persons were looking for something negative about Hardell. They found the same old report as professor Lerchl has drawn up from the deep archives of the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority. It was planted there back in 2002 by its former director, Lars-Erik Holm, today the Head of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. Most of the below events are described in my book “Mobiltelefonins hälsorisker” from 2010.
These smearing activities all coincided with three important and critical events in the issue of mobile phones and brain tumour risks:
– In 2002 with a critical phase in Dr Christopher Newman’s brain tumor court case in the USA. Newman sued the mobile phone companies in 2000 for a brain tumor that finally ended his life.
– In 2011 the evaluation of cancer risks from mobile phone radiation at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC.
– The third time the recent Italian ruling.
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