Vatican Radio is told to pay out over cancer risk scare
Italy's supreme Court has ordered Vatican Radio to compensate a small town near Rome following claims that children there were at a higher risk of cancer because of the broadcaster's high-powered transmitters.
Reports emerged in 2001 that electro-magnetic radiation produced by Vatican Radio's transmitters near Cesano was above the legal limit. The station cut the strength of its signals, but the case went to court when a health authority released a study claiming that children in the area were six times more likely to develop leukaemia than youngsters elsewhere.
Rome's Court of Appeal will now decide how much Vatican Radio will have to pay in damages.
Codacons, the national consumer association which backed residents' claims, hailed the court's decision. "Finally justice is done and the people of Cesano will be able to have the compensation they deserve," said the president of Codacons, Carlo Rienzi.
Vatican Radio said it was disappointed by the ruling. "This sentence comes at the end of a long, stormy trial process which has seen the pontifical broadcaster subject to unjust accusations," a spokesman told Ansa news agency. "There is no justified reason for concern for any part of the population."
The Vatican also noted that medical research had never managed to establish a firm link between electromagnetic waves from radio masts and malignancies.
Some experts believe high-powered radio transmitters might raise the risk of cancer in children. However, unlike ionising radiation, such as X-rays, it is not clear how radio waves might damage cells in a way that causes the disease.
Vatican Radio, which was set up in 1931, broadcasts to 61 countries in 47 languages.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
Video: Woolwich attack - man with bloodied hands and knife addresses camera
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.