Apple iPhone 12, which was launched in 2020, has been embroiled in a controversy after allegations of radiation leak. France has asked the company to stop selling the gadget for emitting too much electromagnetic radiation, but Apple maintains that its device follows global radiation standards. This comes at a time when Apple released its latest device – iPhone 15 – at the Wonderlust event. The issue is likely to affect the sale of the iPhone at a time when Apple is already worried about the slump in the sales of the gadget that accounts for over 80% of its revenue.
What are the allegations?
France tested 141 cellphones and found that when the iPhone 12 is held in a hand or carried in a pocket, its level of electromagnetic energy absorption (measure of radiation absorbed by a human body) is 5.74 watts per kilogram, higher than the EU standard of 4 watts per kilogram.
The National Frequency Agency wants Apple to “implement all available means to rapidly fix this malfunction” for phones already in use and warns if that doesn’t work, it will have to recall the devices already sold.
Why did France decide to test iPhone 12?
Various governments are free to carry out tests on electronic devices to measure their safety levels. However, it is unclear why iPhone 12 didn’t pass the French agency’s latest round of tests and why it was only that particular model.
France’s digital minister has acknowledged that the phone’s radiation levels are still much lower what than scientific studies warn about.
But Apple has been given “two weeks” to respond, minister Jean-Noel Barrot told French newspaper Le Parisien.
What does the WHO say about radiation from phones?
The majority of the energy emitted at the frequencies used by mobile phones is absorbed by the skin and other surface tissues, resulting in “negligible temperature” change in the brain or any internal organ.
Several studies have looked at how radiofrequency fields affect heart rates, blood pressure, sleep quality, and electrical activity in the brain. According to the WHO, there is no conclusive data to support any negative health consequences from exposure to radiofrequency fields at lower levels.
Apple has defended its iPhone 12 model and said that the model was certified by multiple international bodies as compliant with global radiation standards. The company stated that they and third-party lab results proved the phone’s compliance with the French agency. It said it was contesting the results of the review by Agence Nationale des Frequences and would continue to engage with it to show it is compliant.