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France's request for Apple to halt iPhone 12 sales: Key details

Research has revealed that the iPhone 12 exceeds the European Union (EU) standard for electromagnetic energy absorption when held in hand or placed in a pocket

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- September 15th 2023 09:06 AM
France's request for Apple to halt iPhone 12 sales: Key details

France's request for Apple to halt iPhone 12 sales: Key details

World News: France has made a formal request for Apple to cease the sale of iPhone 12 devices, asserting that the phone emits levels of electromagnetic radiation that exceed European Union (EU) exposure standards. France's radiation oversight authority, Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR), reported on Tuesday that the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for the iPhone 12, which measures the rate at which the body absorbs radiofrequency energy from a device, surpasses the legally allowable limit.

ANFR conducted tests on 141 different cellphones and discovered that the iPhone 12 registers a SAR of 5.74 watts per kilogram when held in hand or carried in a pocket, exceeding the EU standard of 4 watts per kilogram. However, the agency suggests that a simple software update could rectify the issue since the functioning of the hardware is influenced by the applications, programs, and operational data running on the device.

Jean-Noel Barrot, France's minister responsible for digital affairs, pointed out that while the iPhone 12's radiation levels exceed EU standards, they are still considerably lower than levels that scientific studies deem harmful.

Understanding SAR

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) represents the amount of energy that the body absorbs from any source of radiation, expressed in watts per kilogram of body weight. The radiation emitted by devices like phones is a consequence of their operation, involving the transmission of radiofrequency waves that create electromagnetic fields.

Potential Dangers

It's essential to note that unlike the radiation from X-rays or gamma rays, which result from radioactive decay, phones are incapable of breaking chemical bonds or causing changes to cells within the human body – processes that can ultimately lead to harm such as cancer. Instead, the non-ionizing radiation emitted by phones primarily leads to the heating of body tissues, which, if above prescribed limits and subject to prolonged exposure, can result in severe health effects, including burns or heat stroke. This information is in accordance with guidelines established by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a global body that sets radiation limits.

Apple's Response

Apple has rejected ANFR's assertions, maintaining that the iPhone 12 received certification from multiple international bodies as compliant with global radiation standards. The tech giant intends to challenge ANFR's claims and continues its engagement with the agency to demonstrate its compliance with established standards.

- With inputs from agencies

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