A BRITISH dad is suing phone giant Nokia for a £1million after claiming his mobile handset caused his brain tumour.
Former salesman Neil Whitfield developed an acoustic neuroma tumour between his ear and his brain, leaving him deaf in one ear.
Facebook / Matty Whitfield Neil Whitfield, seen here with his son, believes his cancer was caused by his Nokia phone
The 60-year-old from Wigan, Greater Manchester is the first Brit to sue a mobile company on medical grounds and the landmark case could end up costing the industry millions.
Neil, a dad of six, was certified deaf in one ear after undergoing surgery to remove the golf ball sized tumour in 2001.
He has also been left with balance problems.
Neil allegedly developed the nerve tumour after using his phone for long spells while out driving for his sales job.
Getty – Contributor Neil claims the 'heavy usage' of his Nokia phone left him with a golf ball sized tumour
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, he said: “I have no doubt my tumour was caused by mobile phones.
“I spent almost five years glued to my phone hours at a time until I was diagnosed. I could feel the heat coming off it.
“I know this is going to be a real David and Goliath battle. It might take a while before it’s settled but I won’t give up.
“This is for the future of my children and kids everywhere.”
Neil’s legal battle has been six years in the making and mobile phone companies now fear that it could trigger hundreds of similar cases.
His claims come amid a flurry of reports claiming that mobile phone usage is behind a surge in cases of certain tumours.
Neil claims the tumour forced him out of his sales job and meant he took a £20,000 pay cut in a new job as a college lecturer.
Getty – Contributor Neil developed an acoustic neuroma tumour between his ear and brain
Solicitor Katrina Pope, of London Corporate Legal, hopes to make a “strong claim” by the end of 2018.
Nokia was the most popular handset in the 1990s, with millions sold across Britain throughout the decade.
Recent figures show cases of a brain tumour called glioblastoma – found in the forehead and side regions of the brain – in England rose from 983 to 2,531 between 1995 and 2015.
The debate of a link between excessive mobile phone usage and the development of tumours has been raging for more than two decades.
Occupational and environmental consultant Colin Purnell claims older phones held a greater risk because there were fewer phone masts in the 1990s, causing mobile devices to emit greater radiation levels to pick up signals.
Getty – Contributor Nokia was the biggest manufacturer of mobiles during the 1990s and was used by millions of Brits
In a statement issued to the Sunday Mirror, Nokia said safety “has always been a key consideration”.
A spokesman added: “All products comply with international exposure guidelines and limits that are set by public health authorities.
“The World Health Organisation factsheet states that ‘A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use’.”
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