'My husband was killed by his mobile'

INVESTIGATION: Could your mobile phone give you cancer? Sophie Goodchild hears sufferers' stories. Charles Arthur explains the technology

DELIA MILLS spent five months watching her husband Lawrence slowly die from an aggressive form of lymphatic cancer. Towards the end, the BT engineer's body was covered in tumours and he could not speak.

Mrs Mills, from Chertsey, Surrey, is convinced that his death aged 51 was caused by radiation from the mobile phone he used for work. She is suing Motorola, the manufacturers, for failing to warn him about the health risks.

Mrs Mills is one of more than 20 people in Britain preparing lawsuits against mobile phone manufacturers, as reported in the Independent on Sunday last week. They could cost the industry billions of pounds in compensation.

She says her husband neither smoked nor drank alcohol and had always been healthy. Last Christmas he noticed a lump on his neck in the place where he held his mobile phone.

Mr Mills had been a BT engineer for eight years. He often had to put his head inside steel junction boxes while he talked on his mobile for considerable periods of time.

"He was never in hospital since the day he was born," said Mrs Mills. "His diet was good and he'd even stopped eating beef. He used to have a pager for work, but about a year ago, he came home and said everyone had been issued with mobile phones.

"My husband used to put up phone lines and spent a lot of time talking to head office as he checked wires. He could be in the queuing system for a long time waiting to talk to someone as he worked in confined spaces. He would have his phone held in the crook of his neck so he could be working at the same time. From the time he got ill, he thought it was the phone. Only six months after the phone was issued, the lump developed and it grew to the size of a grapefruit.

"He was put on two types of antibiotics which did not work, then had to go for chemotherapy. He swelled up like the Michelin man. It was horrendous seeing him suffer like that. Towards the end, he couldn't stand or speak because his windpipe was pushed to one side."

Mrs Mills is angry that manufacturers did not issue health warnings which could have saved her husband's life.

"No one wants to know because the industry is worth so much money. I don't blame BT, because no one knew about the risks at the time. It's the mobile phone companies I blame, because they knew but were too greedy to do anything."

"There should be warnings on the phones, like on cigarette packets, saying they can kill you. I was married for 24 years to the only man I ever loved. Now I'm living in a void."

George Howard (not his real name) also developed cancer after using his mobile phone. The company director from Middlesex is suing Motorola through solicitors Leigh Day. Mr Howard, who has used a mobile for nine years, first started to experience headaches two years ago and then discovered a lump where he held the telephone to his ear.

Doctors have removed two tumours from his head and plan to operate on a third which has developed on his brain stem. He also suffered temporary blindness as a result of the tumour.

The company director, who now uses a radiation shield on his phone, says he was never informed of any health risks by the manufacturers.

"I was making four to five calls in one go and was probably speaking on it for about half an hour a day. When I started to get headaches, I didn't think there was a link so I carried on using the phone," he said.

"But the cancer I have is very rare and there is nothing in the family like this. There is no reason for me to develop cancer apart from the link with the phone. I don't drink or smoke and have a healthy diet.

"There is now always the thought in my mind whether other tumours are going to develop and it was very frightening when I went blind.

"I think the risks, however small they may be, should be made public. Instead, the manufacturers seem to be reacting after the event."

Paul Betts, a 36-year-old mechanic from Watford, in Hertfordshire, now uses a hands-free phone attachment after experiencing a burning sensation in his ear. His health problems became apparent soon after he got a new phone: "When I used the phone it was like someone was sticking a finger in my ear. I've now restricted my use of the phone dramatically. The companies should make you aware of the risks.

"I smoke like a trooper and drive like Nigel Mansell but I know what the risks are. The phones are like microwave ovens - they cook from the inside out. I certainly don't think they are safe to use for a long duration."

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam