The move by the Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR), which oversees wireless communications frequencies, brought swift denials from Apple which said pointed out that the device had been certified by multiple international bodies as compliant with global standard for electromagnetic radiation.
However, other EU members, including Germany, Belgium and Spain have all signaled they may follow France’s lead in banning the popular tech product.
The device, released in 2020, could be subject to product recall in France if Apple do not the lower the radiation levels, said the ANFR.
Meanwhile, France’s digital minister acknowledged that the iPhone 12’s radiation levels are still lower than those considered harmful to human health, according to scientific studies, and that a software update could resolve the issue. Apple has promised to carry out the requested software update.
US government regulators appeared to side with Apple on the issue, with a spokesman for the US Food and Drug administration (FDA) telling The New York Post that “the weight of scientific evidence has not linked exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phone use with any health problems at or below the radio frequency exposure limits set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).”
The French decision has sparked renewed concerns about the potential harm posed by prolonged cellphone use. Scientific research has remains inconclusive, although health experts generally agree that smartphones emit very low levels of radiation.