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Japanese Mobile Phone Firms To Study Health Risks
November 21, 2002

Japan's four mobile phone companies, responding to growing concerns about cell phone use on health, said on Thursday they had agreed to team up to study the possible biological effects of exposure to radio waves.

Explosive growth in global mobile phone use has increased the public debate over possible health risks linked to the devices.

Last year an official at a World Health Organisation said a link between mobile phone use and cancer could not be dismissed without further research.

The firms -- market leader NTT DoCoMo Inc, J-Phone Corp, KDDI Corp, Tu-ka Cellular Tokyo Inc -- said that as a first step they would collaborate on a study to examine the effects of radio waves both at the cell and genetic levels.

The research, already being carried out by DoCoMo, is expected to take about four years to produce any conclusive results, a DoCoMo spokesman said.

He said actual experiments had been commissioned to Mitsubishi Chemical Safety Institute Ltd, a unit of Mitsubishi Chemical Corp, to ensure objectivity.

KDDI is Japan's second-largest mobile phone carrier, and third-ranked J-Phone is operated by Japan Telecom Holdings Co Ltd and its British parent Vodafone Group Plc.

Tu-ka Cellular Tokyo, the smallest of the four, is a subsidiary of KDDI.

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