France has banned sales of Apple’s iPhone 12 after the national watchdog found the device exceeds European radiation limits.
Apple disputes the findings. However the tech giant may have to issue a wide-scale product recall for iPhone 12s already sold in France.
According to the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence so far that links smartphone radiation exposure to adverse health effects.
iPhone 12 Radiation
This week, France’s National Frequency Agency (ANFR) ordered a ban on iPhone 12 sales. It came after the device recorded a radiation value above the legal European limit during random testing.
The ANFR said the model’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) was over the legal safety limit. SAR refers to the measure of radio-frequency energy absorbed by the body from a device.
SAR limits are determined based on the risk to a person of burns or heatstroke from radiation exposure. The smartphone SAR limit is ten times below the level where scientists have previously found evidence of harm.
Following the results, Apple was told to remove the model from shelves in French stores. Authorities instructed them to “take corrective action as soon as possible” to ensure iPhone 12s sold over the last three years are compliant.
Apple says the iPhone 12 complies with global radiation standards and has been certified by multiple international bodies.
The company said it has provided relevant French authorities with lab results carried out by Apple and an independent third party.
Despite AFNR’s concern, the World Health Organisation says “studies to date provide no indication” linking phone radiation to an increased risk of cancer or other diseases.
France’s Minister for Digital Affairs, Jean-Noel Barrot, told a French radio station that while the iPhone 12’s radiation levels are “slightly higher” than EU standards, they are “significantly lower than levels where scientific studies consider there may be consequences for users.”