Japanese Mobile Phone Operators Find No Adverse Health Effects from Base Station Radio Waves


TOKYO, JAPAN, January 24, 2007 --- Japan's mobile phone operators, NTT DoCoMo, Inc., KDDI Corporation and SoftBank Mobile Corporation have confirmed that radio frequency energy from mobile phone base stations does not cause damage to human cells in vitro studies.

Since November 2002, the companies have been collaborating to examine the effects of radio waves. As part of the collaboration, large-scale experiments have been conducted on the cellular and genetic level using radio waves up to 10 times stronger than the limit set forth in radio frequency radiation protection guidelines for base stations. In an interim report on April 26, 2005, the companies announced they had found no effects on cell proliferation, gene expression profile, or DNA single-strand breaks. Now they have found there are no genetic alterations or protein functions that could be associated with cell transformation or programmed cell death (apoptosis). Based on these findings, the operators have concluded that they could not find adverse health effects from radio waves from mobile phone base stations.

The World Health Organization (WHO), European and American government institutions, and Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (Committee to Promote Research on the Possible Biological Effect of Electromagnetic Fields) generally agree there is no firm scientific evidence that radio waves from mobile phones and base stations have adverse health effects. However, as there are some studies claiming that radio waves pose a health hazard, WHO has recommended further research on the safety of radio emissions. In response, the three mobile phone operators started examining the effects of radio waves from mobile phone systems on the human body.

Mitsubishi Chemical Safety Institute Ltd., a specialized research institution, conducted the experiments on behalf of the operators. The results so far have been presented (or are scheduled to be presented) at international symposia and in academic journals. Detailed studies of this joint research have been published in the annual report of the Bioelectromagnetics (BEMS) international academic society and other publications during the last three years. Three papers summarizing the results have been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by the BEMS Journal - Sakuma et al., BEMS 27: 51-57, 2006; Hirose et al., BEMS 27: 494-504, 2006; and Hirose et al., BEMS: in press.

The research used an in vitro exposure system developed by NTT DoCoMo that incorporated a horn antenna and dielectric lens in an anechoic chamber. The exposure system generates 2GHz-band Wideband-Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) modulated-signal RF fields that meet the IMT-2000 specifications for third-generation mobile communications. See BEMS 25: 599-606, 2004.

Some results of the experiments have already been registered in the WHO database, http://www.who.int/peh-emf/research/database/emfstudies/viewstudy.cfm?ID=999, and are being used in the WHO International Electromagnetic Field Project on radio waves and health.

About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world's leading mobile communications company. DoCoMo serves more than 52 million customers, including 30 million people subscribing to FOMA™, launched as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA in 2001. DoCoMo also offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode™, the world's most popular mobile e-mail/Internet service, used by more than 47 million people. With the addition of credit-card and other e-wallet functions, DoCoMo mobile phones have become highly versatile tools for daily life. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more, visit www.docomo.ne.jp/english.

i-mode and FOMA are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.
NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service is only available to subscribers in Japan.

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