Last Updated: 25th August, 2019
Tech giants Apple and Samsung have been sued in the US over harmful Radio Frequency (RF) exposure their smartphones may be emitted. The lawsuit, filed within the United States of America District Court for the Northern District of California, claims RF Emissions from Apple and Samsung smartphones “exceed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s limits of the law“, Apple Insider revealed on Saturday.
The devices mentioned in the suit are Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note8.
A separate investigation by Chicago Tribune also found that “radio-frequency radiation exposure from the iPhone 7 measured over the legal safety limit and more than double against what Apple had reported to federal regulators from its own testing.”
“Innumerable latest science papers, backed by hundreds of researchers around the world, have already shown that exposure to RF radiation impacts living organisms well below most international and national guidelines,” read the court filing.
“Effects include inflated cancer risk, cell stress, increased damaging free radicals, genetic damage, reproductive system structural and functional modifications, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders and adverse effects on human well-being,” the lawsuit elaborated.
There is confusion about the meaning of the maximum reported Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values for cell phones (and other wireless devices).
SAR is a measure of the rate of RF energy absorption by the body from the source being measured – in this case, a cell phone, said FCC guidelines. “Many individuals erroneously assume that using a mobile phone with a lower rumored SAR value essentially decreases a user’s exposure to RF emissions, or is somehow ‘safer‘ than using a mobile phone with a high SAR value,” the FCC said. The FCC set the safety limit at 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6W/kg), averaged over 1 gram of tissue.
Plaintiffs argued that Apple “covered up any risks by misrepresenting the safety of the smartphones.” Earlier, Apple had declared RF exposure data, including Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), but “the company stopped furnishing such information with the release of the iPhone 7,” they argued.
According to Apple, “All iPhone variants, along with iPhone 7, are completely FCC certified and are marketed in any other countries.”
“We are within a compliance and meet all applicable exposure pointers and limits,” aforesaid Apple. However, Samsung had been yet to react to the developments.