The French authority for controlling radiation levels has banned the sale of Apple's iPhone 12 phone, after tests that it says have violated the limits allowed in Europe for exposure to radiation.
The National Frequency Agency (ANFR) said on Tuesday that the level of radiation from this model was higher than the law defines.
Jean-Noel Barrot, the French minister for the digital economy, told Le Parisien newspaper that a software upgrade could solve the problem. If Apple does not fix the problem, the ANFR said it would order a recall of all phones of this model throughout France.
Apple disputes ANFR's conclusions, saying that many international bodies have determined that the iPhone 12 complies with global radiation standards.
WHAT EXCEEDING RADIATION LIMITS MEAN
The standard level of radiation absorption is expressed in watts per kilogram of body weight. Radiation from mobile phones is caused by the electromagnetic field near the device that is created by the radio frequencies through which the signal is transmitted.
Unlike exposure to X-rays, or gamma rays – which cause radioactive waste – the radiation emitted by mobile phones fails to break down chemical bonds or change the cells of the human body.
WHAT HAS ANFR IDENTIFIED?
ANFR said it recently tested 141 phones, including some iPhone 12 models, bought in stores. In independent laboratory tests, two iPhone 12 devices did not comply with EU standards, the Digital Minister's office told Reuters.
As a result of controlling the radiation level of smartphones, 42 sales bans have been made in the country so far, the minister said.
HOW HIGH IS THE RISK?
The main problem caused by non-ionizing radiation from the phone is the heating of body tissues. When radiation exceeds the prescribed level and depending on the duration of exposure, it can cause effects such as burns, or heatstroke, according to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a body that sets levels on a global scale .
ANFR said labs had found a radiation level of 5.74 watts per kilogram during tests of the iPhone 12 on users' hands or pockets.
The EU standard is 4.0 watts per kilogram. However, this poses no risk to human health, said ICNIRP chairman Professor Rodney Croft.
The WHO and other international health bodies say there is no conclusive evidence that radiation from mobile phones causes other negative health effects. However, she has called for further research.
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiation from mobile phones as "probably carcinogenic", or Category 2B. This designation is used when the agency cannot rule out a possible link.
The agency said there was "limited" evidence of an increased risk of brain tumors in some but not all users, particularly heavy phone users, but added that it could not rule out errors in the data, which would means no definitive answer can be given.
HOW DID APPLE REACT?
ANFR has said that a software upgrade should be enough to fix the problem. In simple terms, this is because software – apps, programs and other operating information on a device – affects how the phone works.
So a software update should be enough to reduce the exposure of iPhone 12 users.
Megjithatë, Apple i ka hedhur poshtë përfundimet e agjencisë. Kompania tha se i kishte ofruar ANFR-së rezultate të shumta të laboratorit të saj dhe të palëve të treta të pavarura, që vërtetojnë se niveli i rrezatimit është në përputhje me të gjitha rregulloret dhe standardet botërore. Apple tha se do t’i kundërshtojë rezultatet e ANFR-së dhe do të vazhdojë të angazhohet me agjencinë për të treguar se është në përputhje me normat.
A DO TË KETË NDALIME TË TJERA?
ANFR tha se iPhone 12 nuk i përmbush standardet e Bashkimit Evropian, duke ngritur pikëpyetje nëse do të ndërmerren edhe ndalime të tjera të shitjeve të këtij modeli. ANFR do t’ua përcjellë gjetjet e saj rregullatorëve në shtetet e tjera anëtare të BE-së.
While it remains unclear whether investigations are being carried out by other authorities, Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection said on Wednesday that "the issue of the need for change is currently under discussion".
And a Dutch daily reports that the relevant authority of this country for radiation levels is analyzing the ANFR report and will demand explanations from the Apple company.