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STATEMENT BY THOMAS E. WHEELER, PRESIDENT, CELLULAR TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomas E. Wheeler, president, Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, issued the following statement at a press conference today:
 There are 10 million cellular telephone customers in America. About a third of them use small hand-held portable phones like this one. I'm comfortable using my portable phone. And I'm comfortable telling others to continue using their portable phones.
 However, it has become obvious that some of those who own cellular phones and others who are thinking about buying a cellular phone have grown concerned and confused about their safety.
 I believe today what I've said all along: cellular phones are safe.
 Despite the many research studies showing that cellular is safe, it has become necessary to reassure those whose doubts have been raised by this scare.
 It is time for truth and good science to replace emotional videotape and unsupported allegations.
 Therefore, the cellular telecommunications industry is today announcing that it will fund research to re-validate the findings of the existing studies, which have found that the radiowaves from cellular phones are safe.
 We recognize that some may find industry-sponsored research is suspect. Therefore, we are asking the federal government to appoint a blue-ribbon panel to review the methodology and findings of this research.
 We have written to the agencies responsible for ensuring the health and safety of the American public in this area -- the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Communications Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency -- and asked them to coordinate the appointment of the commission members.
 In order that the public's questions can be resolved quickly, we will begin a set of tests designed to produce results in a relatively short period. At the same time, other studies, which will require a longer period to complete, will also be undertaken.
 To further assure the public, the CTIA is suggesting to all its members that they communicate with their subscribers immediately, providing them with full information on the safety of cellular phones. I spoke this morning with the chief executives of the largest cellular carriers and they have assured me that this will be done.
 These actions do not represent any change in what we've said throughout this scare -- that many, many studies of radiowave emissions have found no harmful effects on health.
 What these actions do represent is the conviction that the atmosphere of a television talk show or a product liability lawsuit is not conducive to a cool assessment of complex medical and scientific issues. That's why we are proposing today that the forum be shifted to the laboratory, the testing facility, the scientific journal.
 We must go the extra mile to ensure that the concerns of consumers are addressed. Otherwise, consumers will continue to be unduly alarmed.
 The amazing growth of the cellular telephone industry -- from zero to 10 million subscribers in nine years -- is a great made-in- America success story. And it is just the beginning of a wireless revolution which will sweep the world in the 21st century. Already on sale or on the drawing board are wireless computers, wireless FAX machines and wireless pocket assistants. And in the future, floods of information, pictures and data will be delivered over radio frequencies to us wherever we are in ways only limited by the imagination of inventors and entrepreneurs.
 The American cellular industry has created more than 100,000 new jobs, billions of dollars in investment and an export business that makes a positive contribution to America's balance of trade.
 We cannot permit this revolution in productivity, personal convenience and economic growth to be derailed by an unfounded scare triggered by a lawsuit. So, what our industry is announcing here is not just to reassure today's customers but also to clear away the doubts which could cloud tomorrow's communications revolution.
 -0- 1/29/93
 /CONTACT: Ron Nessen, Mike Houghton or Cilie Collins of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, 202-785-0081/


CO: Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:

DC -- DC018 -- 0850 01/29/93 14:58 EST
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Date:Jan 29, 1993
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