Washington D.C. superior court judge Frederick H. Weisberg ruled that five scientific experts can testify for consumers suffering from brain tumors they allege were caused by cell phone radiation.
Weisberg is presiding over 13 consolidated lawsuits against the telecom industry. He ruled that experts met the legal standards and can offer testimony related to injury causation and health effects. In December 2013 and January 2014, the court held evidentiary hearings and reviewed hundreds of exhibits. The court did not decide the issue of whether cell phones cause brain tumors, Weisberg noted, but new scientific studies and information have emerged on the issue.
Weisberg referred to a recently published French study that found support for “a possible association between heavy mobile phone use” and brain tumors. The French researchers used a cancer registry to identify adults with meningiomas or gliomas, two of the most common adult brain tumors. They examined 253 glioma and 194 meningioma cases and a comparison group of twice as many people who had never had a brain tumor, according to Reuters. They collected detailed information about cell phone usage.
The radio frequency electromagnetic fields that researchers believe can cause cancer cause heat as they penetrate tissue. Holding a cell phone to the ear brings the source of the radiation frequencies close to the brain, and this may be the link between cell phones and brain tumors, according to the Guardian Liberty Voice. Though some critics say the non-ionizing energy emitted by cell phones should not cause damage to chemical bonds or DNA within a human body, the Environmental Working Group found studies showing that cell phones carried in pants pockets can affect men’s sperm quality.
An attorney involved in one of cases called this a landmark ruling. The first of the consolidated cases is Michael Patrick Murray et al. v. Motorola Inc. et al., case no. 2001 CA 008479 B in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. The defendants in the cases are Motorola Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Nokia Inc., Audiovox Communications Corp., and Samsung Telecomm American LLC.