We wish to inform you that this morning the Council of State (highest administrative Court in Italy) issued its ruling n. 5887/2019 on the subject of health risks from mobile phones.
The Lazio Regional Administrative Court’s decision on January 16 of this year upheld the lawsuit of Association A.P.P.L.E. ordering the Ministry of Environment, Health and MIUR to carry out an information campaign at national level about such risks.
The Ministries – despite having declared their intention to fulfill the TAR order – had then filed an appeal. Today the decision of the Council of State has been delivered.
Although the sentence states – for strictly procedural and non-substantive reasons – that the Ministries do not have a legal obligation to carry out an information campaign, the Council of State confirms that there information should be delivered, ratifying the main points of merit claimed by A.P.P.L.E., namely that:
1. the association A.P.P.L.E. is a bearer of widespread interests and it is entitled to question the Administration on national issues such as those of collective health and the risks created by electro-smog and mobile phones; in case the Administration itself remains inert, A.P.P.L.E. is entitled of a right to protect them judicially.
2. The Ministries of Health, Environment, MIUR, did not answer the requests of the Association to provide a clear position on the issues of health risks, scientific and jurisprudential evolution confirming these risks (such as the NTP study), on how much money and how had been spent to inform citizens on the subject: “The Administration should therefore not only had to explain its point of view on the subject mentioned, but also give information about the use of the sums specifically intended“.
3. The ministries behaved incoherently because in 2012 the Ministry of Health itself had announced that “it intends – compatibly with the available resources – to start an information campaign as soon as possible …” and also because “in other notes … it had expressed itself about the reported danger”.
4. The law of 2016 which imposes the CE marking on mobile phone manufacturers and related compliance with European prescriptions, and which requires instruction manuals, does not exhaust “the possible health precautions, considering that compliance does not only concern this aspect, but above all the electrical safety and use of the radio spectrum“.
5. Ministries must therefore apply the precautionary principle and “take into account the provisions of art. 10 of the law n. 36/2001, also in consideration of the massive use of these devices by the population and the impending technological evolution of the transmission standards“.
6. Finally, the web campaign created by ministry of health on its website since 2012 is insufficient: “access to contents on the web is still restricted to only a part of the population in Italy and is therefore not totally suitable to guarantee those general informational purposes provided for by the regulations” referred to by the association A.P.P.L.E.
Lawyers Ambrosio, Bertone and Angeletti, who together with lawyer De Fazi in Rome assisted the A.P.P.L.E. in the long dispute, believe this is an extremely important result “because the Council of State, too, acknowledges the concerns of those who believe the population is not receiving information on how to protect their health and the environment from exposure to electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones and other radio equipment“.
The Association at the outcome of today’s ruling will question the ministries to achieve answers to those requests made in past years.
Meanwhile, A.P.P.L.E. contests what the Ministries prepared in July 2019, claiming that they had thus complied with the sentence of the TAR Lazio Court. According to Laura Masiero “such videos and commercials have the opposite effect, on the one hand making you believe that mobile phones are an indispensable tool and almost endowed with a conscience, on the other hand not warning at all that the use can create health risks, and finally mixing different themes (such as the distraction that can occur while walking and texting) that distract the attention of citizenship from the main theme that is, health risks from electromagnetic fields exposure”.