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16 September 2019

The iPhone 7 May Be More Dangerous than Announced by Apple

The iPhone 7 may be more dangerous than announced by Apple
by Antoine Sillières, Le Lanceur, 6 September 2019 - translation

According to independent analyses by an American reporter of the Chicago Tribune, the iPhone 7 emits more waves than Apple says. Several other competing devices, such as Samsung and Motorola, exceed radiation standards when tested in real-life conditions.

Illustrative photo of danger of waves - cell phone
©  Tim Douet
While not a tabloid, the Chicago Tribune has nailed several international stars this summer, true global stars named iPhone 7, Samsung S8 and Motorola E5... which shine too brightly. Reporter Sam Roe, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for an investigation into the dangers of certain toys, investigated for a year the human body's exposure to the waves emitted by our dear smartphones. He had several flagship models tested in a certified and independent laboratory. The results of the measurements, published in an article dated 21 August (read here), differ from those obtained by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), the authority in charge of control in the United States. These results are also different from those presented by the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR), its French counterpart, as pointed out by Marc Arazi, whistleblower, who has been investigating the subject since 2016.

A first battery of tests was carried out in accordance with the criteria used by the FCC, that is to say, at a distance of between 5 and 15 millimeters from the skin - it is the manufacturers who choose (5 millimeters for Apple for example). Under these conditions, the test results on the iPhone 7 "one of the most popular smartphones ever sold", writes the Chicago Tribune, exceeded U.S. standards. However, when you draw nearer to the phones, the levels of waves received by the body increase. Remember that these waves are emitted by phones to connect to base stations. They heat our tissues and are classified as a "possible human carcinogen" by the WHO, while the U.S. Department of Health has proven their impact on the development of heart tumors in rats.

Archaic standards

Like Marc Arazi, the French whistleblower who is fighting to get ANFR's tests published, Sam Roe has difficulty understanding that the tests are performed several millimeters from the body, which does not correspond to the common use of these devices. "Federal standards may not be adequate to protect the public," the reporter writes, recalling that phones are now carried in the pocket and no longer on the belt as was the case in the 1990s when these standards were established, and which are thus archaic. In France, 89% of the phones tested by ANFR under actual conditions of use, i.e. in contact with skin, exceeded the standards. But despite the fight of the whistleblower Marc Arazi, ANFR had not published the details by model (read here).

Based on the experience of Marc Arazi, whom he contacted, Sam Roe carried out a second battery of tests, 2 millimeters from the skin. In these conditions, closer to real use, several phones exploded to unexpected heights. The iPhone 7 displayed values twice as high as the American standard. For the iPhone 8, it is three times the standard and four times the standard for the Motorola E5 Play. The Samsung Galaxy S8 had the most worrying rates, exceeding five times the norm.

The website of LeLancer.fr had already highlighted the danger of the iPhone 5 (read here). Apple explained to the Chicago Tribune that its customers should use a hands-free kit to keep the device at a respectable distance from the body. However, this clarification only appears on the Californian company's website, as the newspaper notes, not in the device's manual - so you can buy an iPhone without being informed of this precautionary use. With 285 million smartphones in use in the United States and 29% of teenagers sleeping with their devices, these figures raise fears of a health scandal. In our country, it should be remembered that 75% of French people and 98% of 18-24 year-olds own a smartphone.

Two new phones banned in France

In France, two phones were banned this summer. As the Leagoo S8 and the Allview X4 soul mini have been measured above the standard, ANFR notified the manufacturing companies to "take all appropriate measures to put an end to the non-compliance found on equipment being placed on the market as well as those already marketed". But these companies did not follow up and ANFR "decided to proceed with the withdrawal and provisional recall of the two phones concerned". However, these phones were still being marketed without compliance. As a result, ANFR asked Cédric O, Secretary of State for Electronic Communications, to ban their marketing, a decision enacted by a decree of 12 July.

A few weeks earlier, two Nokia phones (3 and 6.1) had been nailed before the manufacturer made any compliance fixes. By the summer of 2018, some 90,000 models of a phone marketed by Orange had been recalled (read here). In August, the association of 60 million consumers drew up a list of phones that had been nailed since ANFR published its measurements. Here we find some brands whose models were among our most dangerous rankings in 2017 (see our computer graphics).


Marc Arazi also wondered about the variations in measurements according to the tests. Indeed, the results published by the Chicago Tribune are not the same as those of the FCC tests, which are different from the ANFR measurements. "We do not understand these differences," says the founder of the Phonegate Alert Association, who maintains having strong suspicions about the ability of manufacturers to bias tests. "Manufacturers had put in place software to interact on the devices at the time of the controls," he says. Today, Phonegate Alert requests that it be provided with the originals of the ANFR tests. It is expected that the request of the association will be rejected next week. The Council of State is due to deliver its opinion on this subject on 12 September after an unfavorable opinion from the Administrative Court of Melun and CADA.

Original article in French:

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