Top mobile phone firms warning shareholders over devices' possible cancer risks
zondag, 03 juni 2018 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal
2 juni 2018
Top mobile phone firms warning shareholders over devices' possible cancer risks - but fail to tell customers
Companies including Blackberry, EE, Nokia and Vodafone have told investors they could face legal action from device users if research eventually finds links between their products and cancer
Top mobile firms are warning shareholders about the potential health risks of phones but keeping the information from customers.
Companies including Blackberry, EE, Nokia and Vodafone have told investors they could face legal action from device users if research eventually finds links between their products and cancer.
Yet they fail to warn users of any potential risk in their ads and packaging.
British Telecom, which owns EE, tells investors starkly in its 2017 annual report: “We can’t provide absolute assurance that research in the future won’t establish links between radio frequency emissions and health risks.”
And Nokia says: “There have been some research results that indicated the possibility that electromagnetic waves emitted from mobile devices and base stations have adverse health effects, such as increasing the risk of cancer.”
The news comes after we revealed brain cancer patient Neil Whitfield, 60, is the first Briton to sue a phone maker and could win up to £1million from Nokia if successful.
Mr Whitfield said: “If companies are warning investors there is a possible risk they should be warning people who use their phones and networks.
''They are being selective with the truth and have decided those with money are more important than the general public.”
The firms involved say they have a duty to warn shareholders of any risk, however unlikely.
A court in Italy recently ruled a link between tumours and mobiles and the International Agency for Research into Cancer says they are a “possible carcinogenic.”
And in France, Orange has recalled around 90,000 Hapi 30 phones because of the device’s radiation level.
Devra Davis, president of the Environmental Health Trust, said: “Financial threats from litigation are growing in step with scientific evidence linking phones to health damages.
''Further still, the Italian court decision indicates any firm that requires mobile use as a condition of work faces major liability.”
Blackberry and Nokia warn shareholders of possible legal action in reports to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nokia says despite adhering to regulations “concerns over the adverse effects on health... could make it difficult to acquire and retain customers”.
Vodafone says there is “no evidence” of harm but adds: “A change to this view could result in... impacts.” Blackberry says “perceived risks” could affects sales and lead to legal battles.
Most studies find no link with cancer but others claim they increase the risk of brain cancer.
Mr Whitfield blames Nokia phones for giving him an acoustic neuroma on a nerve between his inner ear and brain.
''His case could open the floodgates and he said: “Phone companies don’t give a jot about health.
''I’m in the autumn of my life but I worry about the next generation who spend hours each day glued to their phones.”
Nokia is fighting his claim and said safety “has always been a key consideration”, adding: “All products comply with exposure guidelines and limits set by public health authorities.”
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