Several European countries are launching investigations into concerns that the iPhone 12 may emit excessive electromagnetic radiation. This move comes after France took the bold step of ordering Apple to cease its iPhone 12 sales within the country.
Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany have joined the scrutiny, amplifying the issue’s significance across Europe. France’s regulatory authority has given Apple a two-week window to respond to their inquiry, which, according to German authorities, could result in sweeping measures across the continent.
Apple insists it has provided evidence of compliance with radiation regulations. However, France’s National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) reported that radiation tests on the iPhone 12 revealed levels exceeding allowable limits.
French Digital Economy Minister Jean-Noël Barrot emphasized that the sales halt in France could have far-reaching consequences. ANFR will also share its findings with regulators in other EU member states, increasing the potential impact.
Belgium has instructed its regulatory body to investigate potential health risks associated with the iPhone 12, a model released in 2020. Belgian State Secretary for Digitalization Mathieu Michel stressed the importance of safeguarding citizens from potential dangers to health, pledging a comprehensive examination of all Apple models and subsequently other brands.
The Dutch Digital Infrastructure Agency (RDI) expressed certainty that radiation levels exceeded acceptable limits, based on French tests, though they asserted there was no immediate safety risk. Meanwhile, Germany’s BNetzA network agency acknowledged that the French investigation could lead to measures applicable to all EU member states.
As of now, the UK has not taken any action in response to the French sales ban.
Apple contests the French findings and has presented the ANFR with laboratory results from both the company and third parties, asserting the device’s compliance with regulations. France’s digital economy minister expects Apple to resolve the issue through a software update. Failure to do so may require a recall of all iPhone 12 units sold in France, according to ANFR.
The regulator conducted two radiation tests: one simulating close contact with a person’s body, such as when the phone is held or placed in a trouser pocket, and the other at a slightly greater distance, resembling a phone in a jacket pocket or bag. While the iPhone 12 passed the second test, it exceeded EU regulatory limits in the first test, as reported by ANFR.
ANFR will oversee checks in Apple stores and other distribution outlets to ensure compliance with the sales halt.
While previous radiation concerns have led to the removal of smartphones from French shelves, this marks the first time an iPhone model has been affected.
The World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted that numerous studies over the years have assessed potential health risks associated with mobile phone usage. According to WHO’s website, no adverse health effects linked to mobile phone use have been conclusively established to date.