Apple’s iPhone 12 model was launched in 2020 and has since been available in various mobile phone stores around the world. However, three years later, a regulator in France called for sales to be halted after finding that the device was emitting radiation levels above European limits.
This has reignited the debate about whether mobile phones are harmful to our health, meaning France’s decision could have implications for Europe and the rest of the world.
France’s National Frequency Agency (ANFR) called on Apple in a statement to “use all available means to end non-compliance” and said failure could result in the iPhone 12 being forcibly withdrawn from all points of sale.
Although there have been hundreds of studies on the potential risks of cell phone radiation, the results are inconclusive, although health experts say radiation levels are low enough that they are unlikely to be a major problem.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cell phones use radiofrequency radiation, which is different from other types of radiation, such as those used in X-rays, so repeated exposure would not be harmful. .
“Based on scientific evidence, there is no association between exposure to radiofrequency energy through cell phone use and health problems,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also stated.
But it’s a difficult topic to study, largely because of ethical conflicts: scientists can’t expose people to high levels of radiation.
In turn, studies on rats have found that radiation causes a higher risk of tumors, DNA or tissue damage and lower body weight, although there are scientists who suspect that these effects in animals do not translate to human health.
However, the ANFR justifies its ban on the sale of the iPhone 12 with a test that apparently exceeded the radiation levels acceptable under European regulations.
The SAR measurement – which analyzes the amount of electromagnetic radiation the body should receive when holding a cell phone in your hand or pocket – must be less than 4 watts per kilogram (W/kg).
However, in the iPhone 12 test it was 5.74 W/kg at a distance of 0 millimeters. At a further distance of 5 millimeters (like in a pocket or jacket) the device only met the regulations.