The move gives Apple 15 days to correct the issue and bring the iPhone 12's specific absorption rate (SAR) within acceptable levels. The ANFR has urged the tech giant to implement all available means quickly to remedy the malfunction before a full recall of the copies already sold begins. (Related: Apple warns users with medical devices to keep iPhones away from body because they emit EMF.)
The ANFR monitors public exposure to electromagnetic waves using SAR – the measurement that determines electromagnetic waves transported and absorbed by the human body when a phone is in a pocket or in the hand – with the limit placed at four watts per kilogram (w/kg).
The agency recently tested 141 phones, including the iPhone 12, and found that the iPhone 12 exceeded the limit with a reading of 5.74 w/kg and ordered Apple to quickly fix the issue, which could possibly be achieved through a simple software update.
"The rule is the same for everyone, including the digital giants," said French Minister of Digital and Telecommunications Jean-Noel Barrot. French newspaper Le Parisien even noted that French officials are willing to recall every single iPhone 12 in France, including units that have already been sold.
Barrot said a software update would be sufficient to fix the radiation issues linked to the iPhone model, which the company has been selling since 2020. "Apple is expected to respond within two weeks. If they fail to do so, I am prepared to order a recall of all iPhone 12s in circulation," he added.
The European Union (EU) has set safety limits for SAR values linked to exposure to mobile phones, which could increase the risk of some forms of cancer according to scientific studies. In 2020, France widened regulations requiring retailers to display the radiation value of products on packaging beyond cellphones, including tablets and other electronic devices.
Barrot assured users that the European standard for electromagnetic emissions is 10 times lower than the levels that scientific studies have established as consequential for users.
The French watchdog ANFR will now pass on its data findings to regulators in other EU member countries
"In practical terms, this decision could 'snowball' the restrictive measures," Barrot said.
ANFR agents have been instructed to ensure that the iPhone 12 is no longer offered for sale through any distribution channel in France.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified non-ionizing EMFs in the radio frequency range as Group 2B – a possible human carcinogen. These fields are produced by electronic products, like Bluetooth devices, cellphones, computers, smart devices, smart meters, tablets and wireless routers.
The current IARC evaluation from 2011 pointed to a possible link between RF radiation and cancer in people – particularly glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer. This conclusion means that there could be some risk.
Some researchers feel there's already enough evidence of harm from long-term, low-level exposure to non-ionizing radiation that the IARC should upgrade the classification to a Group 1 – a known carcinogen.
In a multicenter study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers followed cancer rates and cellphone use in more than 5,000 people in 13 countries and found a "loose connection" between the highest rate of exposure and glioma – which were more often found on the same side of the head people used to speak on the cellphone.
Another review of more than two dozen studies on low-frequency EMFs published in the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy suggested that these energy fields may cause neurological and psychiatric problems in people.
That being said, the best approach is to be aware that EMFs exist and be smart about your exposure. Experts say this is a developing field of research that will undoubtedly expand as the use of wireless devices and labor-saving machines increases.
Radiation.news has more on the dangers of smartphones.
Watch the following video on the dangers of smartphone radiation.
This video is from the EMF Safety Co channel on Brighteon.com.