A number of outlets are reporting recent news from France regarding the safety (or lack thereof) of cell phones.
Here is a sampling of some of the media portrayals of these recent developments, with commentary.
Apple Insider: “France threatens total recall of iPhone 12 over RF power concerns,” (Still) invoking comparisons to ‘the sun’ and offering assurance that cell phones are not radioactive
On Sept. 12, Apple Insider reported, “France threatens total recall of iPhone 12 over RF power concerns.” Mike Wuerthele wrote, “At about the same time the iPhone 15 launched, France has declared that the iPhone 12 cannot be sold in the country, because it reportedly exceeds the country’s legal limit for radio frequency exposure.”
“RF radiation is not the same as ionizing radiation generated by decay of radioactive isotopes, and from the sun itself and the mechanism of damage is different. Ionizing radiation breaks the bonds in cells, where sufficiently high levels of RF radiation can heat tissue and could theoretically cause tissue damage.
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) refers to the rate at which the body absorbs RF energy. A SAR of 1 watt per kilogram would increase the temperature of an insulated slab of tissue by one degree Celsius per hour of exposure at that wattage, and does not account for the loss of that temperature increase from any other factor.
SAR is a measure of that heat, and not an absolute measure of damage. Generated heat is what can theoretically cause damage from RF exposure.”
COMMENT: An informed public is becoming weary of diversionary tactics and is not consoled by the explanation that cell phone radiation is not “generating decay of radio-active isotopes.”
The implication that RF is not harmful if it is not ionizing is not supported by an evidence-based independent investigation of safety that includes non-thermal effects.
The public is also increasingly concerned about testing on an inanimate “insulated slab of tissue.” Consumers recognize the unscientific basis for the assumption that an inanimate model can replicate the impact of RF on every living ecosystem, plant, animal, or human. For humans, this includes impacts on the heart and brain, ranging from infants and children to the elderly. (Note: Many environmentalists are unaware that Apple and others have not been required to safeguard the nature environment, at all, including pollinators.)
Perhaps an insulated slab of tissue is slightly better that testing on SAM. See the riveting and heart-felt interview here with host Cecelia Doucette of MA4SafeTechnology, hosted by WCCA in Worcester, MA. She interviews Rinat Strahlofer, Founder and Co-Creator of ‘We are Not SAM’, a public safety awareness campaign that aims to humanize technology and its impact on society, bring awareness to harmful practices, and advocate for a safer and more mindful use of technology for future generations.
- Implies that radiofrequency radiation exposure is not harmful if it is not ionizing
- Implies that the thermal (heating) effect is the only mechanism of harm
- Invokes a similarity to the sun, or likens exposure from bananas to exposure from cell towers to discount reported harm
is misleading, inaccurate, irrelevant to current exposures, and very likely not independent of industry influence.
It is true that the measurement of heat is not an absolute measure of damage – because heat should not be equated with harm, due to apparent non-thermal effects.
The (Inconvenient) 2021 Court Ruling Against the FCC Regarding Safety, Including Testing, Long-term Exposures, Children, and Nature
The public is increasingly aware that the issue is the adverse non-thermal effects of non-ionizing radio frequency radiation. This could be the focus of accurate mainstream news reporting, if not for the fact that ads for cell phones permeate the mass media. In contrast:
In 2021, “The court ordered the commission (FCC) to “(i) provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to retain its testing procedures for determining whether cell phones and other portable electronic devices comply with its guidelines, (ii) address the impacts of RF radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, the ubiquity of wireless devices, and other technological developments that have occurred since the Commission last updated its guidelines, and (iii) address the impacts of RF radiation on the environment.”- https://ehtrust.org/in-historic-decision-federal-court-finds-fcc-failed-to-explain-why-it-ignored-scientific-evidence-showing-harm-from-wireless-radiation/
The ruling stated, “Under this highly deferential standard of review, we find the Commission’s order arbitrary and capricious in its failure to respond to record evidence that exposure to RF radiation at levels below the Commission’s current limits may cause negative health effects unrelated to cancer. That failure undermines the Commission’s conclusions regarding the adequacy of its testing procedures, particularly as they relate to children, and its conclusions regarding the implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, exposure to RF pulsation or modulation, and the implications of technological developments that have occurred since 1996, all of which depend on the premise that exposure to RF radiation at levels below its current limits causes no negative health effects. Accordingly, we find those conclusions arbitrary and capricious as well. Finally, we find the Commission’s order arbitrary and capricious in its complete failure to respond to comments concerning environmental harm caused by RF radiation.” –
Reuters: the problem is a “slightly excessive” exposure
Tassilo Hummel, reporting for Reuters, wrote. French watchdog halts iPhone 12 sales over too-high radiation – minister. “France’s radiation watchdog ANFR notified Apple of its decision to ban iPhone 12 sales after it had carried out tests which showed the smartphone’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) was slightly higher than legally allowed, “
“Barrot said a software update would be sufficient to fix the radiation issues linked to the phone which the U.S. company has been selling since 2020.” (Jean-Noel Barrot is France’s junior minister for the digital economy.)
While Reuters may imply that that the problem is only a “slightly excessive” exposure, the overriding question is whether or not the exposure limits and inanimate testing models are relevant at all, in the first place, which is more than a software problem. Again, this is compounded by the fact that the international community has been unwilling to recognize non-thermal impacts, (for example, infertility, which does not feature a fever.)
The lack of integrity at the regulatory and political level now becomes a problem for every cell phone user.
The choice is between seeking sources that provide comfort and reassurance for limited beliefs, vs. investigating with an opened mind the microscopic truth about the effects of non-ionizing radiation, cell phones and related infrastructure, including involuntary second- hand exposures, and the effects on non-benefitting non-consenting populations, as well as the nature environment.
Those looking beyond the industry spin are not consoled. Similar inquiries had to be undertaken by previous generations who assumed that ionizing radiation was not harmful, (also asbestos, benzene, PCBs, halocarbons, cigarettes, and other case histories outlined in Late Lessons from Early Warnings.
France’s ANFR (The Agence Nationale des Frequencies)
France’s ANFR (The Agence nationale des frequencies) explained, “As market surveillance authority for radio equipment and responsible for controlling public exposure to electromagnetic fields, the ANFR runs inspections on mobile phones placed on the French market. 141 mobile phones, including Apple’s iPhone 12, have recently been tested to check compliance with limit SAR values. SAR is a measure of the rate of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body from the equipment being measured.
The mobile phones were tested by an accredited laboratory, which allows the ANFR to ensure that the SAR values comply with European regulation. These requirements entail that the equipment be tested at touch-contact (0 mm) for limb-SAR measures – where the phone is handheld or in a trouser pocket – and at a distance of 5 mm for body-SAR – where the phone is in the pocket of a jacket or in a bag. The values must therefore respect maximum limits of 4 Watts/kg for limb-SAR and 2 W/kg for body-SAR. The ANFR’s measures show that the limb-SAR values exceed the limit, being at 5,74 W/kg. However, the body-SAR complies with the regulation.”
“Instruction has been given to the ANFR’s sworn officers to check that the iPhone 12 is no longer offered for sale in all distribution channels in France, from Tuesday 12 September 2023.”
Since France’s regulatory agency made mention of the trouser pocket, here is another recent relevant news item of interest;
The Inconvenient Tumor Near the Front Left Trouser Pocket
Where is your smartphone? An unusual mass within the tensor fasciae latae muscle “We report a case of a 40-year-old Italian man presenting with an intramuscular schwannoma in his left thigh, which coincided with the area where he habitually stored his smartphone (front left trouser pocket). An ultrasound examination revealed a well-defined, encapsulated, hypoechoic lesion (41 Ã— 15 Ã— 28 mm) within the muscle, showing multiple small foci of vascularity on color Doppler. Elastographic analysis indicated a deformability score of 2, with some areas of stiffness. Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the presence of a spindle-shaped mass in the tensor fasciae latae muscle, with varying enhancement after contrast administration. Notably, the location of the intramuscular mass closely corresponded to the placement of the phone’s SIM card. While we cannot establish a definitive causal relationship between the patient’s smartphone storage habit and the development of the intramuscular schwannoma, we speculate that the habitual storage location may have potentially acted as a risk or predisposing factor. This case underscores the need for further research on the potential health risks associated with smartphone storage habits, considering their widespread prevalence in today’s society.”
Cancer is but one of many poor health outcomes that has been associated with exposure to non-ionizing radiation emitted by wireless devices and infrastructure by independent, non-industry researchers.
PhoneGate Alert – Not 1, But 43 phones
Internationally respected Phonegate Alert is an important source of accurate information for decision-makers and the public regarding concerns and questions about cell phone safety, now extending beyond France to Europe.
A recent update noted, “In fact, our NGO has just served formal notice on the Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR) to provide the European authorities with information on 42 models of cell phones that it has declared non-compliant between 2018 and the present day, and which are still available on the European Union market.”
From Dr. Marc Arazi, who co-founded the NGO Phonegate Alert in 2018:
“..[ ] we will only be truly satisfied when a transparent European policy is put in place to effectively protect the health of the hundreds of millions of users of cell phones, tablets, smartwatches, toys and other connected objects”.
For how much longer will consumers enable an industry (and its regulators) that flaunt supposed “safety guidelines” and ignore and/or deny reported harm? Will European customers demand scrutiny, for example, for cell phones in the hands of children?
American Regulation: Asleep at the Wheel
Across the pond, American MIT degreed-engineer Ken Gartner is training as a Building Biology consultant. He cautioned:
“In France, in 2018, a number of phones were found to exceed the SAR threshold.
The way that FCC devices are tested is rather crude. The manufacturer is supposed to provide to the testers the absolutely harshest possible scenario that will cause the device to emit the strongest amount of radiation. On a supercomputer like an iPhone which has multiple antennas, tight beamforming, multiplexing of many signals and other variations, this can be easily gamed, perhaps not even intentionally.
A simple analog. Suppose someone needed to check the hottest possible spot inside an oven, for safety reasons. You can imagine that temperature probe placement would be vital, that placing a probe in the center might produce a different reading than adjacent to one of the heating elements. And the scenario of testing would be vital — broiler, convection, self-cleaning modes. Just imagine the same in a complex ecosystem like a phone which uses software to decide how many things to do and when to do them.
Another important point. The “FCC” does not perform any testing! The manufacturer contracts with an approved testing firm who writes up the report and swears to the FCC, on scout’s honor, that they followed all the proper measurement protocols and indeed tested the “most intense” configuration possible for the phone. There is a lot of wiggle room. Field updates to the software never are tested again, so if a software update can reduce the maximum RF exposure, then a software update could also increase it up to the hardware limit.
The truly worrisome aspect is that Apple iPhone 12 (as has other models before it) is planning to use a ‘software update’ to address this.
This is reminiscient of how Volkswagen gamed the system by fiddling with its exhaust emissions when it recognized it was currently in a testing scenario! A cheat.
The fact that France found iPhone12 exceeded the same 4 W/kg levels that the US uses — which is what I think has happened, as opposed to France merely having tighter standards than the US — should cause the original FCC approval to be questioned.” – Ken Gartner
(Ken’s household learned firsthand about the health consequences of EMF overexposure in 2019. Since that time, he has studied the hazards of the built infrastructure through the lens of Building Biology, a compassionate discipline that prioritizes human health. In concert with his electrically sensitive partner, he has founded a consultancy in central Massachusetts to help environmentally sensitive folks to improve the healthfulness of their homes.)
Reporting for the Sun, Millie Turner wrote, “Millions of iPhone owners warned over radiation levels as France BANS popular model” “However, it’s important to note that if you’re based in the UK or the US, the sale ban and potential recall is unlikely to affect you.“
Therein lies a huge issue for American and British consumers, who may not be affected by a recall but who are biological beings, for whom current cell phone testing protocols are unscientific and irrelevant.
As reported by Suzanne Burdick of Children’s Health Defense, American consumers could be extremely concerned that the FCC seems to feel that it can operate outside the law:
Dr. Devra Davis of the Environmental Health Trust observed, “If cell phones were a drug they would have been banned years ago. 5G would never have been allowed to market.”
Another inconvenient truth is that for many, cell phones have become a dopamine delivery system and addiction, – not unlike a drug – and the addicts include children.
Blinded cell phone addiction supports an unyielding addiction to economic growth, which is making it very difficult for the truth about risks and harm to be responsibly addressed.
As noted by Joel Moskowitz, Cellphone radiation is harmful, but few want to believe it.
Most likely this included the judge who ruled in favor of industry and against providing labeling warnings at the point of sale. As reported by www.saferemr.com, “On September 17, 2020, Federal Judge Edward M. Chen ruled that the City of Berkeley could no longer require cell phone retailers to notify customers about cell phone safety warnings.The judge sided with the Federal Communication’s (FCC) recent submission of a “statement of interest” to the federal court.
The judge stated that “The FCC is tasked with balancing the competing objectives of ensuring public health and safety and promoting the development and growth of the telecommunications network and related services.”
There you have it.
As long as the public buys the reasoning that the growth of an industry “competes with” public health and safety -and does not recognize the inherent interdependence between the health of a nation and planet and the health of its people, – we will keep buying unsafe phones and placing them in the hands of children.
We will keep sentencing neighborhoods to unsafe proximal infrastructure. We will keep exploiting the planet’s resources, and outsourcing mining and disposal to poorer nations and poorer zip codes. Until we choose to stop.