France Removes iPhone 12 from Market Due to Radiation

France removes iPhone 12

This article was last updated on September 13, 2023

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France takes action against iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 is being removed from stores in France due to concerns over excessive electromagnetic radiation. The French agency for the regulation of radio frequencies (ANFR) conducted tests and found that the iPhone 12 emits a higher level of radiation than the European limit allows.

Excessive radiation level of iPhone 12

The iPhone 12, which was released in late 2020, was found to emit radiation of 5.74 watts per kilogram. This level of radiation applies to areas of the body near the phone, such as the upper leg if the device is in a pocket. The European limit for electromagnetic radiation is four watts per kilogram. It is important to note that electromagnetic radiation is different from radioactive radiation and primarily causes warming of the body, rather than damage to DNA.

Apple given two weeks to take action

The French regulator has given Apple a two-week deadline to address the issue with the iPhone 12. If no action is taken, Apple may be required to recall the devices that have already been sold. Apple has stated that it will withdraw the iPhone 12 from the market, but also asserts that independent analyses have proven that the model meets legal standards. It is possible that a software update could resolve the excessive radiation levels.

Potential health effects and precautions

Monique Beerlage, an expert from the Electromagnetic Fields Knowledge Platform, explains that a small amount of radiation is generally not cause for concern. However, if the body is already experiencing fever, physical exertion, or increased temperature, the additional warming caused by the iPhone 12 may become more significant. The European limit of four watts per kilogram equates to only a small increase in body temperature. Proper heat dissipation through sweating helps regulate body temperature, and adverse health effects typically arise at higher temperature increases. It is recommended to use earphones for calls and to avoid holding the phone directly against the body in order to minimize exposure to radiation.

Rare occurrence of phones exceeding exposure limits

According to Beerlage, it is uncommon for phones to exceed exposure limits. The last instance of a phone exceeding limits was approximately twelve years ago with a Samsung phone. The current situation with the iPhone 12 raises concerns regarding the adherence to European standards and the potential need for action in other countries such as the Netherlands.

Netherlands to determine course of action

The National Digital Infrastructure Inspectorate (RDI) in the Netherlands will ultimately decide whether to remove the iPhone 12 from stores in the country. As the standards in question are European, it is plausible that similar actions may be taken in the Netherlands and other European countries.

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