PARIS, A government watchdog agency in France, the National Frequency Agency (ANFR), has ordered Apple to withdraw the iPhone 12 from the French market, claiming that it emits levels of electromagnetic radiation that are too high.
The ANFR, responsible for overseeing radio-electric frequencies and public exposure to electromagnetic radiation in France, conducted a comprehensive investigation. They found that the iPhone 12 exceeded the allowable limits for specific absorption rate (SAR) – a measure of the amount of RF radiation that can be absorbed by the human body.
ANFR’s Directive to Apple
In response to their findings, the ANFR issued a statement on Tuesday, urging Apple to take immediate action. They requested that Apple “implement all available means to rapidly fix this malfunction” for phones already in use. Furthermore, the ANFR will closely monitor any corrective updates released by Apple. If these updates do not address the issue satisfactorily, the agency has warned that “Apple will have to recall” the iPhones that have already been sold in France.
France’s National Frequency Agency said “Apple must immediately adopt all necessary measures to prevent the iPhone 12 in the supply chain from being made available on the market,” ANFR added.
The news came out after Apple revealed their new iPhone 15 line on September 12th.
Apple, one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers, has firmly disputed the ANFR’s findings. The tech giant insists that the iPhone 12 complies with all regulations governing radiation emissions. They argue that their devices are rigorously tested to ensure they meet safety standards and pose no harm to users.
The Importance of Regulatory Compliance
Apple emphasizes its commitment to adhering to regulatory requirements not only in France but also worldwide. The company asserts that it takes matters of safety and user health seriously, pledging to cooperate with the ANFR to address any concerns and ensure compliance.
The Perspective of French Authorities
Minister Jean-Noël Barrot’s Statement
Jean-Noël Barrot, France’s minister in charge of digital issues, has weighed in on the iPhone 12 radiation controversy. Speaking to France Info Radio, he pointed out that the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) plays a pivotal role in monitoring the radiation emissions from phones. He emphasized that with software updates, the levels of electromagnetic waves emitted by phones can fluctuate, sometimes slightly exceeding or falling below established standards.
Minister Barrot acknowledged that the iPhone 12’s radiation levels are “slightly higher” than the defined standards. However, he was quick to add that they are “significantly lower than levels where scientific studies consider there may be consequences for users.” In essence, while there is a deviation from the norm, it does not necessarily imply harm. He concluded by emphasizing the importance of adhering to regulations, stating, “But the rule is the rule.”
The World Health Organization’s Classification
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified cellphones as “possible” carcinogens. This classification places them in the same category as everyday items such as coffee, diesel fumes, and the pesticide DDT. It’s important to note that this categorization does not mean that cell phones directly cause cancer.
The radiation emitted by cellphones, including the iPhone 12, is non-ionizing radiation, which means it lacks the energy to directly damage DNA, unlike stronger forms of radiation like X-rays or ultraviolet light. This type of radiation primarily generates heat when absorbed by the body, and extensive research has been conducted to assess its potential health effects.
Research on Cellphone Radiation and Health
In 2018, two U.S. government studies exposed mice and rats to cellphone radiation, and they found a weak link to some heart tumors. However, it’s essential to highlight that both federal regulators and scientists concurred that the findings did not suggest any immediate safety concerns for cellphone users. They emphasized that the exposure levels in the studies far exceeded typical human cellphone usage and that the results should be interpreted with caution.
One of the largest international studies on the potential dangers of cellphone use, conducted in 13 countries in 2010, found little or no increased risk of brain tumors associated with cellphone use. This study provided some reassurance regarding the safety of these devices.
What is the specific absorption rate (SAR)?
Specific absorption rate (SAR) is a measure of the amount of radiofrequency (RF) radiation that can be absorbed by the human body. It is used to assess the safety of electronic devices like smartphones.
Should I be concerned about radiation from my smartphone?
The radiation emitted by smartphones is generally considered safe within regulated limits. However, if you have specific concerns, you may want to follow updates on safety assessments and guidelines provided by regulatory authorities.