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Industry welcomes start of major mobile phone independent health research programme

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"The mobile phone industry is committed to addressing any public concerns about mobile telephony in an open and transparent way. Good quality relevant research informs the scientific community and public understanding" he added.

While the balance of evidence from scientific studies to date does not suggest that radio frequency emissions cause adverse health effects, an independent research programme using standard experimental protocols forms part of a precautionary approach to the issue.

As recommended by the Stewart Report, the industry's role has been to provide 50 per cent of the funding while an independent panel of scientists chaired by Sir William Stewart directs the programme.

Notes to editors

The mobile phone industry is contributing £3.68m over three years to the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme

Companies contributing to the research programme include the four existing UK network operators (BT Cellnet, Orange, One 2 One and Vodafone); the new licence holder Hutchison 3G; companies that are members of the Mobile Manufacturers' Forum (MMF) - Alcatel, Ericsson, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Siemens, Sony and Sagem; Cable & Wireless, Crown Castle International and The Carphone Warehouse,

Details of the research programme can be found at www.mthr.org.uk

61% of UK adults access the internet from mobiles

Mobile phones cannot work without a network of base stations (masts). There are approximately 52,500 base station sites (excluding microcells) in the UK. Only a third of these are large, free standing masts. A YouGov survey for MOA (Sept 2014) showed that nearly 8 out of 10 people recognise the link between masts and good mobile coverage. Mobile telecommunications are vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness and in promoting social inclusion. There are now 89.9 million mobile subscriptions in the UK. In Q1 2015 61 per cent of UK adults used their mobile phones for internet access. Tablet ownership is 54% of UK households.

No Established Health Effects

Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, similar to those that have been widely used for decades, for example in radio, TV and radar signals. A large number of studies over the last two decades have found no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts.