Mobile phone radiation: France halts sale of iPhone 12
- France has ordered Apple to halt sales of the iPhone 12 due to high levels of mobile phone radiation.
- Apple insisted in a statement that it is compliant with exposure limits.
- Apple has also announced that it will discontinue production of the iPhone 12.
Mobile phone radiation should no longer be an issue today, given how advanced most devices are. While mobile phones still emit radiation through their radiofrequency, the frequencies are generally low and not strong enough to cause harm to humans.
According to a report by the National Cancer Institute, most of these frequencies, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G, fall in the nonionizing range of the spectrum, which is too low to damage DNA. In fact, the most consistent health risk associated with mobile phones is not the radiation they emit, but how they can cause neurological effects in young people, such as addiction to devices.
Apart from cancer, one of the biggest myths about mobile phone radiation was how 5G could be harmful to humans. When 5G technology was first announced, there were rumors that the network would cause cancer and weaken the human immune system, which led to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both myths have since been thoroughly debunked, but there are still some who believe in the harm the technology can cause to the body.
The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection has comprehensive databases on the level of radiation mobile phones emit. The list, which is updated through December 2021, shows the current mobile phone with the highest level of radiation is the Motorola Edge. In the past, the iPhone 7 and 8 have been close to making it onto the list, but their latest models have lower specific observation rates (SAR).
High mobile phone radiation in iPhone 12
Just as things seem to calmed down in terms of radiation panic, French regulators have made an intriguing discovery on the mobile phone radiation being emitted from the iPhone. To be precise, the regulators have found that the iPhone 12 model is emitting too much electromagnetic radiation.
According to a report by AFP, following this discovery, French regulators have ordered Apple to halt sales of the iPhone 12 in France. The French agency that regulates radio frequencies, the ANFR, said testing found that the model emits more electromagnetic waves susceptible to be absorbed by the body than is permitted.
The ANFR said it “ordered Apple to remove the iPhone 12 from the French market from September 12 due to the model exceeding the limit” for electromagnetic absorption by the body.
It said accredited labs had found absorption of electromagnetic energy by the body at 5.74 watts per kilogram during tests simulating when the phone was being held in the hand or kept in a pocket. The European standard is a specific absorption rate of 4.0 watts per kilogram in such tests. The inspections were conducted on 141 mobile phones, including Apple’s iPhone 12.
“Consequently, Apple must immediately adopt all necessary measures to prevent the iPhone 12 in the supply chain from being made available on the market. As for those telephones that are already in use, Apple must adopt all necessary corrective measures to bring the telephones into conformity as soon as possible, otherwise, Apple will have to recall the equipment,” the ANFR said.
ANFR noted that tests that measure the electromagnetic radiation absorbed at a distance of five centimeters were in compliance with the limit of 2.0 watts per kilogram. ANFR said its agents would verify that iPhone 12 models were no longer being offered for sale in France.
When contacted by AFP, Apple insisted that it is compliant with exposure limits and would continue to engage with the French regulator to demonstrate that. Regulators in a number of countries have limits on the amount of electromagnetic radiation mobile phones may emit to prevent adverse health effects.
At the same time, Apple has also announced that it has ended the production of the Apple iPhone 12, together with the iPhone 13 mini.
Apple in the EU
The World Health Organization states on its website that following a large number of studies, “no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”
The timing of the announcement could not have been better for Apple. The tech company had just announced the launch of its latest iPhone model, which is also its first model that meets the charging connection requirements of the European Union.
Earlier this year, Apple was sent a Statement of Objections by the European Commission on concern over its App Store rules for music streaming providers. In particular, the Commission is concerned that the anti-steering obligations imposed by Apple on music streaming app developers prevent those developers from informing consumers about where and how to subscribe to streaming services at lower prices.