A spokesman for the European Commission has insisted that EU limits on phone radiation are "safe" amid an ongoing scandal surrounding the iPhone 12. (EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON)


EC insists EU phone-radiation limits are ‘safe’ amid iPhone 12’s ban in France


A spokesman for the European Commission has insisted that European Union limits on phone radiation are “safe” amid ongoing controversy surrounding the iPhone 12.

The Apple device has already been pulled from shelves in France after the country’s regulator reportedly discovered that it broke EU safety regulations on electromagnetic radiation.

Speaking to Brussels Signal, the EC spokesman echoed claims that, despite the device breaking EU health and safety rules, the strictness of the bloc’s regulations meant that the phone was likely still technically safe to use.

He added that the safety of Europeans was “paramount” within the bloc, saying the currently existing radiation rules were completely appropriate.

“The EU exposure limits for radio-frequency fields for the general public are fifty times lower than what international scientific evidence suggests as having any potential effect on health,” the spokesman said.

“Our limits ensure that people remain safe, and it is up to the Member States to ensure application.”

Speaking about the iPhone 12 specifically, the spokesman said that the EC did not “have sufficient technical information to comment at this stage”.

He also confirmed once again that the French ban could eventually apply across the entirety of the EU if not challenged by another Member State.

“Based on the EU Radio equipment directive, on September 12, the French authorities informed the Commission and all other Member States of the restrictive measures regarding the iPhone 12,” the spokesman said, adding that any country that disagreed with the ban now has three months to challenge it.

“In the absence of reaction from other Member States, the measure is deemed justified and all Member States are obliged to take action to implement the ban,” he clarified.

“If, on the contrary, there is objection, then the Commission shall examine the situation and adopt an Implementing Decision to declare whether the measure is justified or not.”

The spokesman said the EC was continuing to “monitor the situation” and that Apple – the iPhone 12 manufacturer – has the right to challenge the sales ban in the relevant national court if it so chooses.

While it remains to be seen whether the issue will end up in front of a judge, it appears clear that the Californian tech giant does want the ban lifted.

Although the company has continued to insist that the device is compliant with EU rules as-is, it has now promised to roll out an update for the phone in France aimed at fixing the issue.

This update will not cut the amount of radiation emitted by the phone but will – according to Apple – change the manner in which it is emitted in order to make it more to the liking of French authorities.