France Bans iPhone 12 Sales Due to High Radiation Levels

In a world increasingly dominated by technology, concerns about the health effects of smartphone radiation have become more pronounced. Recently, France made headlines with its decision to ban the iPhone 12 due to concerns about its radiation levels. So, what does this mean for smartphone users, and what about the other iPhone models that are not iPhone 12?

Understanding Radiation in Smartphones

Smartphones emit electromagnetic radiation (EMF or EMR) in the form of radiofrequency (RF) radiation and lower frequencies (ELF) among others. This radiation is non-ionizing, which means it doesn't contain enough energy to remove tightly bound electrons from atoms or molecules (unlike ionizing radiation, such as X-rays or gamma rays). However, as evidenced by France's move to ban iPhone 12 sales and a large variety of studies, that does not necessarily make it safe.

France's decision to ban the iPhone 12 is rooted in concerns about the device's specific absorption rate (SAR), a measure of how much RF radiation is absorbed by the body when using a device. The iPhone 12 was found to exceed the SAR limit set by French regulations. This move has sparked debates about the adequacy of existing safety standards for smartphones and whether other countries should follow suit. It is important to note that SAR levels are not the be all, end all when it comes to EMF radiation exposure safety.

Related Source: French regulators say iPhone 12 emits too much radiation, Apple must take it off market

Outdated SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) Limits

In 2019, the Chicago Tribune paid a third party accredited laboratory to conduct testing on some of the most popular smartphones at that time such as Apple's most sold iPhone 7 now known as the iPhone SE 3rd Generation. The results found the phones measured over the exposure limit.

The FCC, who is responsible for regulating phones, “states on its website that if a cell phone has been approved for sale, the device “will never exceed” the maximum allowable exposure limit. However, there are major issues with exposure limit standards:

  1. They are extremely outdated and non-representative of modern exposure levels.
  2. The limits and regulations were based on a test dummy designed to simulate an adult male body. Women, children and generally smaller people, who are much more susceptible, were not accounted for. 
  3. Exposure levels assume some distance between the user and the device, which is not reflective of typical usage.
  4. Manufacturers self report this data.

These results now raise questions about whether cell phones always meet safety standards set up to protect the public, and are they as safe as manufacturers and government regulators say they are? According to, “some 50 phones are listed on the ANFR database as having failed the regulator’s testing to date. Some fail the test at a 5-mm distance, others at 0 mm.”

With the recent launch of the iPhone 15 series by Apple, it is certainly possible that similar future tests will reveal that the SAR levels for these models surpass the permissible exposure thresholds.

Related Source: The iPhone 12 Isn't the Only Phone to Fail France's Radiation Test

Precautionary Measures

France's decision to ban the iPhone 12 due to radiation concerns is a reflection of the ongoing debate surrounding smartphone radiation and its potential health effects. While the scientific consensus remains elusive, it is clear that governments must take a proactive stance in regulating smartphone radiation to ensure the safety of their citizens. Standardized SAR limits, increased transparency from manufacturers, and continued research into this topic will be crucial in addressing these concerns.

In the meantime, what can users do to minimize their exposure to this radiation?  Experts recommend adopting a precautionary approach that includes minimizing your usage and time spent near your device.

As a more feasible solution, SafeSleeve offers anti-radiation cases for your wireless devices include a shielding material that is designed and lab tested to block up to 99% of EMF radiation. You can learn more about these cases here.