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Japanese Mobile Carriers to Study Effects of Radio Waves on Living Organisms
Posted: 22-Nov-2002 [Source: J-Phone press release]

[Japan's four leading telecomm operators to jointly conduct study looking at the effect radio waves emitted from mobile handsets have on living organisms.]

Tokyo -- Japan's mobile phone operators, NTT DoCoMo, Inc., KDDI Corporation, J-PHONE Co., Ltd. and TU-KA Cellular Tokyo, Inc., have agreed to conduct a joint study on the possible effects that radio waves emitted from mobile phone devices have on living organisms. According to the agreement, the four companies will analyze and evaluate the results of experiments performed independently or jointly.

Experts and organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) generally agree there is no concrete evidence proving that radio waves from cellular phones and base stations harm people. However, WHO has been calling for research to substantiate the safety of these waves. As a result, the four mobile operators have decided to respond proactively.

The companies will initially study a preliminary research currently being carried out by DoCoMo, which will examine the effects of radio waves at both the cell and genetic level. Actual experimentation has been commissioned to Mitsubishi Chemical Safety Institute Ltd., which has extensive experience in safety tests using cell cultures and microorganisms.

The study will be conducted in accordance with the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards for equipment, instruments, organizations, personnel and procedural documentation used in safety evaluation tests of pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other products. In Japan, GLP standards for respective fields are set by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of the Environment.

Radio emission equipment which will be used in the cell-culture experiments features an open design incorporating a horn antenna and dielectric lens. The equipment creates a uniform electric field with a standard deviation of less than 1.5 dB over an area of 30 cm2, which will enable simultaneous exposure for about 50 laboratory dishes, each measuring 4 cm in diameter, or possibly as many as 100 million cells in total.

Results of the study will be published after evaluation and analysis by the four companies.

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