Four of Japan’s major mobile phone companies with a total of over 70 million subscribers have reached an agreement that they will jointly study the possible biological effects on humans of exposure to radio waves from mobile phone systems, they announced Thursday.

KDDI Corp., J-Phone Co. Ltd. and Tu-Ka Cellular Tokyo Inc. will join in the research currently led by NTT DoCoMo Inc. that examines the effects of radio waves from mobile phones and base stations at both the cell and genetic level, the companies said in a statement.

NTT DoCoMo started preparing for the study in July 2001, according to Takuya Kato, a NTT DoCoMo spokesman.

The research, which has been commissioned to Mitsubishi Chemical Safety Institute Ltd., is to expose as many as 1 million cell samples to radio waves for a long period of time, the companies said.

As evaluation and analysis may take at least four years to complete, the companies plan to periodically release updates on the research, Kato said. Then, the final results will be published by the four companies.

The study will be conducted in accordance with the Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards set by the Japanese government.

It has not been scientifically proven that radio waves from mobile phones and base stations have any effect on people, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has been calling for research to substantiate the safety of these waves, the companies said.

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