In recent times, concerns about the radiation emitted by popular smartphones have been raised by regulators in several European countries. Following France’s lead, Germany and Belgium regulators have expressed their intent to investigate and potentially take action concerning radiation emissions from widely used mobile phones. Italy and Spain are also closely monitoring the situation.
The scrutiny began with the French watchdogs conducting random tests on 141 phones, including the iPhone 12, a model that saw significant global sales. The tests indicated a specific absorption rate (SAR) significantly exceeding the European Union’s defined limits. SAR measures the amount of energy absorbed by the body when exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic waves from electronic devices like mobile phones.
EU law sets SAR limits at two watts per kilogram when a handset is held next to the ear or torso, and four watts per kilogram when held or kept in a pocket. The French watchdog, Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR), reported a SAR of 5.74 watts per kilogram for the iPhone 12 when carried.
Apple, on the other hand, disputes these claims, stating a SAR of 0.98 watts per kilogram when held next to the ear and 0.99 watts per kilogram when carried or kept in a pocket. It’s important to note that extensive research has been conducted over the years to assess the health risks associated with mobile phone use. According to the World Health Organization, no adverse health effects have been conclusively linked to mobile phone usage.
In Germany, the Federal Office for Radiation has released data on the top-emitting smartphones as of 2022. The legal limit for SAR in the US is 1.6 watts per kilogram. Several popular models, including Motorola Edge, OnePlus 6T, Sony Xperia XA2 Plus, Google Pixel 3 XL, and Oppo Reno5 5G, were noted for emitting substantial radiation, approaching or exceeding regulatory limits.
As regulators continue to scrutinize the radiation emissions of popular smartphones, it remains essential for both manufacturers and consumers to stay informed about SAR levels and prioritize safe mobile phone usage.