French authorities have decided to withdraw iPhone 12 from the market. The smartphone will not go back on sale until concerns about the device’s radiation are clarified.
The iPhone 12 smartphone may be a few years old, but Apple’s first device with 5G connectivity has recently returned to the headlines. As it turns out, the equipment exceeds the safety standards established in France, which was met with a quick reaction from the authorities.
Ban on the sale of iPhone 12 – France is afraid of radiation
The phone was scrutinized by the French ANFR, or National Frequencies Agency. The regulator conducted tests in which the iPhone 12 exceeded the SAR radiation standard, i.e. the specific absorption coefficient.
As the experiment showed, an Apple device held in the hand emits approximately 5.7 W/kg. The permissible safety standard is only 4 W/kg. Higher values may lead to an “increased risk of brain tumors,” according to the guidelines of the French occupational health and safety agency ANSES.
As the legal standard was exceeded, iPhone 12 was withdrawn from sale until the problem was resolved. The company has 15 days to do so. Usually, manufacturers introduce software patches to their equipment that eliminate excess radiation by lowering parameters. For example, phones could have a slightly lower range or data download speed.
SAR – dispute over safe radiation levels
Experts commenting on the situation indicate that safe SAR values are currently established based on limited scientific research. We know that a SAR value of 40 W/kg can be dangerous, as it can heat cells up to 40 degrees C, which causes protein denaturation.
Therefore, a level 10 times lower was considered safe – 4 W/kg. However, there is currently no research that establishes this particular level as harmful or harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.