Why France may recall iPhone 12 and your EMF protection tips

emf protection Sep 19, 2023

Have you heard that France may recall the iPhone 12, originally released in 2020, for its radiation levels exceeding European safety standards?

For those who have studied the research on electromagnetic fields (EMFs), wireless radiation, and its effects on human and environmental health, this news might not be surprising.

For those who are shocked, remember that the iPhone was introduced to the world in just 2007. Since some health outcomes, like cancer, take years to develop and manifest, decades of research are needed to understand the health effects of new wireless radiation exposures.

But, the most pioneering scientists (you can listen to two of them in the Practical Nontoxic Living podcast episodes listed below) who study how EMFs affect human health say that the evidence on EMFs and brain cancer is very strong as you can hear in an upcoming Practical Nontoxic Living podcast episode with Dr. David O. Carpenter. In the meantime, we are still learning about the long-term effects of such frequent exposure to radiation from our cell phones. 

This article breaks down what you need to know about this iPhone recall, wireless radiation, iPhone safety, and easy tips to protect yourself and your family from EMFs in your daily life.

Why might the iPhone be recalled in France?

On September 12, 2023, the Agence Nacionale des Frequences (ANFR) announced that Apple must cease selling the iPhone 12 after several tests showed that the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is higher than legally allowed. If Apple does not decrease SAR levels to be in compliance with European standards, then France may recall iPhone 12.

What is the Specific Absorption Rate?

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is a “measure of the rate of RF (radiofrequency) energy absorption by the body from the source being measured,” according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

So, in the case of the iPhone, SAR addresses how much wireless radiation your body is absorbing from the phone. Studies show that exposure to this wireless radiation has been linked to increased risk for cancer, and other adverse health effects. 

While these regulations are designed to protect the consumer, they often might not reflect the most recent science. So, it is important to take preventative measures to protect yourself and your family.

What are the health risks of high SAR?

It depends on who you listen to. In the United States, agencies tend to acknowledge health risks only after undeniable evidence of harm, which takes decades to prove (think: asbestos, cigarette smoking, and second hand smoke). This is sometimes called a reactionary approach, and U.S. agencies that tend to follow this approach and also state that current EMF exposures from cell phone radiation have proven no harm include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

However, authorities that promote a precautionary approach (i.e., the evidence prompts us to be safer rather than sorry) include:

How do SAR levels in the US compare to those of France?

Most countries have standards to protect the consumer from high absorption of these EMFs. However, how these standards are implemented and enforced varies among nations. 

Two main standards are set by the United States FCC and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), an NGO recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The FCC standard limits absorption to no more than 1.6 watts per kilogram (energy) by any 1 gram of tissue. Standards set by the ICNIRP limit absorption to no more than 2 watts per kilogram by 10 grams of contiguous tissue.

The DefenderShield website, a company founded by former telecom engineer, Daniel DeBaun, explains that SAR values depend on average volume. Thus there is actually less allowable RF exposure per gram of tissue under the ICNIRP SAR standard.

So, although there is currently no violations for these iPhones in the United States, that does not necessarily indicate that American iPhone 12 users are absorbing less radiation. The best way to protect yourself is to minimize your exposure in the first place.

What's next for iPhone 12?

The French organization has given Apple two weeks to release a software update that will lower the EMF emissions. Spokesperson Jean-Noel Barrot says that if the company does not provide a software update to lower the radiofrequency emissions, the ANFR will issue a recall of iPhone 12s. 

Easy tips to reduce your daily EMF exposure

One of the most commonly asked questions from our audience is: What can I do to reduce my exposure to wireless radiation? 

There are many easy ways to minimize your EMF exposure to protect your body & your family. One simple tip is to maximize the space between the phone and your body

  1. During your sleep. Creating distance between you and wireless radiation can be especially important at bedtime, since EMF exposure could disrupt sleep quality. 
  2. When using the phone. Try to utilize speakerphone, or wired headphones, to maximize distance between the device and your body.

For more easy ways and support to reduce your EMF exposure, while protecting your joy and convenience of modern life, check out the all-in-one EMF detox here. There are engaging videos to share with your family and friends, and checklists to guide the easy changes you can pursue to reduce your EMF exposure.

And for checklists on healthy habits to reduce your EMF exposure without compromising your joy and convenience, purchase the EMF Detox Workbook to also help capture important details on EMF protection products. This is complemented powerfully with its online EMF Detox counterpart at the D-Tox Academy.

Additional resources for EMF protection tips

Listen to conversations with the most pioneering scientists on the health risks of our chronic EMF exposures.

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About Ruan Living

Ruan Living simplifies a nontoxic lifestyle through its Practical Nontoxic Living podcast, free detox workshops, online D-Tox Academy, and transformative 40-Day Home Detox. It aims to help you avoid toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from what you buy, own, and do— without compromising your joy and convenience. Ruan was founded by Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of the bestselling critically acclaimed book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Toxic Exposures and several detox workbooks. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School, Sophia has served on the Brown University School of Public Health Advisory Council and Well+Good Council. A popular nontoxic living speaker, consultant, and teacher, Sophia lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters. Her passion for empowering others to enjoy nontoxic living began with the birth of her first daughter in 2007. Everything she creates is a love letter to her children and for the healthiest, brightest future possible. You can learn more here: Sophia’s Impact.


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