A 27-year-old woman suffering from a brain tumour is to become the first person in Britain to bring a personal injury claim against mobile phone makers.
The woman, a company director who has not been identified, is convinced she developed the life-threatening tumour from using her mobile phone.
Her case is being handled by Tom Jones, a solicitor working for Thompsons, who claim to be Britain’s largest personal injury law firm.
Mr Jones said: “We believe this is the first case of its kind in the UK. Our client has no family history of cancer, she has never been exposed to radiation in any other form, there’s no other reason why she should have a brain tumour.”
Mr Jones will be using research recently published in Sweden linking mobile phones with headaches and fatigue to back the case, as well as other studies which point towards potential health hazards from using phones.
Scientists at the National Institute of Working Life in Umea, Sweden, who questioned 11,000 mobile phone users found the longer people used them, the more likely they were to report symptoms such as hot ears, burning skin, headaches and fatigue.
The research team said more studies were needed to prove that it was the mobile phones that caused the symptoms. It also showed there was no substantial difference in the effects of digital and analogue phones. Mobile phone makers insisted the report did not prove mobile phones had a harmful effect.
Symptoms such as headaches could be caused by other lifestyle and employment factors such as using VDUs, normal telephone usage or intensive periods of concentration such as driving or using microscopes.
A statement from the Federation of Communication Services Limited said hot ears could be caused by the heat generated by batteries used for a long time rather than from radio signals.
“The selection of a controlled group – persons without mobile phones – was not in the scope of this research. Therefore one must be very careful about making any conclusions beyond the focus of the study which was to determine whether GSM (digital) users reported symptoms more than NMT (analogue) users. No such differences were found and the study provides no evidence of harmful effects from the use of mobile phones.”