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France bans sales of iPhone 12 over high radiation level 

The regulatory authority in France has ordered the stoppage of Apple’s iPhone 12 sales in the French market over the recent discovery that the phone emits electromagnetic radiation above allowable levels. 

The French agency in charge of telecommunications regulation, known as ANFR, ordered that the iPhone model “no longer (be) offered for sale in all distribution channels in France” again. The ANFR recently tested 141 phones in a laboratory to determine how much electromagnetic radiation the body absorbs during the operation of the phone. 

It was found that the iPhone 12 exceeded the limit for direct body contact, for example in the hand or in the pocket. Instead of the maximum permitted four watts per kilogram, it was 5.74 watts per kilogram. 

The limit value of two watts per kilogram for radiation values at a distance of five millimetres from the body, however, was complied with by the iPhone 12, wrote the ANFR. It applies to situations in which a phone is carried in a jacket or pocket, for example. 

Apple disagrees 

Apple, however, told BBC it was contesting the ANFR’s review, and said it had provided the regulator with lab results from the tech giant itself and third parties which show the device is compliant with all the relevant rules. It said the iPhone 12 was recognised as being compliant with regulations on radiation levels worldwide. The iPhone 12 was first released in September 2020, and it is still sold all over the world. 

WHO’s position on electromagnetic radiation 

Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) consists of waves of the electromagnetic (EM) field, which propagate through space and carry momentum and electromagnetic radiant energy. Types of EMR include radio waves, microwaves, infrared, (visible) light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays, all of which are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. 

While mobile phones use radio waves to transmit signals to a network of base stations, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields such as in mobile phones, is harmful to humans. 

  • “Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields,” the Organisation said on its website.  




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