We asked Dr. Arazi, President of Phonegate Alert, to review in detail the revelations made on August 21, 2019 by journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Sam Roe in the Chicago Tribune and to place them in the overall context of the international Phonegate scandal. We start with the results of Apple’s iPhones, then in a next article we will discuss the results of the Korean manufacturer Samsung.

When and how did the contact with the journalist Sam Roe come about?

It is now more than a year and a half ago. I received an email in January 2018 from Sam Roe of the Chicago Tribune asking me for an interview. He had heard of the results of the specific absorption rate (SAR) tests carried out on hundreds of mobile phones by the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR), of which we had obtained a first publication in June 2017.

Sam Roe email to Dr. Arazi January, 29 2018

Sam Roe email to Dr. Arazi January, 29 2018

It was an incredible moment to see that a reporter as prestigious and acclaimed as Sam Roe (Pulitzer Prize) was interested in our international alert action. We continued to exchange emails on a regular basis for months, sending him all the information we considered important.

We never knew that the Chicago Tribune had chosen independent tests. We are very interested in these tests that are complementary to the tests performed by ANFR.

What do the SAR tests of the iPhone carried out by ANFR show?

To analyze the results we must divide them into two periods, 2012-2016 and 2017 to date. It was in the first period that ANFR decided to control the exposure of all mobile phones at the level of the body (SAR trunk, SAR extremities), at the manufacturer’s measuring distance (between 10 and 25 mm from the skin), then at 5mm (near contact) and finally at 0mm (contact), to be as close as possible to the uses of users, when the phone is held in the hand (contact) or placed in a pocket (near contact).

In real use, the SAR of the iPhone 5 at more than 5 W/kg

Take, for example, the iPhone 5, tested by Apple at 10 mm. The official SAR trunk is 0.825W/kg for 10gr. Then, tested at 5mm, it comes out at 1.453 W/kg. And finally tested on contact, the SAR jumps to 5.321 W/kg for 10gr, which is more than two and a half times the limit not to be exceeded in Europe (2W/kg).

Extract of table from the ANFR open data

The same is true for the tests of iPhones 5C (3.11W/kg), 6 (2.05W/kg), 6 Plus (3.17W/kg) and 6S (2.59W/kg).

Concerning the iPhone 7, tested by ANFR in May 2016, the French agency did not perform any tests at 0 mm. We were surprised by this. The 5 mm control test is 1.34 W/kg for 10gr.

Concerning the iPhone SE tested in September 2016 on contact, it is the only one that does not exceed the European limit with a SAR of 1.74 W/kg for 10gr.

Since 2017 no further publication of SARs in real use

While as required by European Directive 2014/53/EU, ANFR must test SAR extremities in contact with the body, it no longer publishes the SAR results in contact in the period 2017 to the present day. Concerning the 4 controls carried out over the last two years on iPhones 8, X, XR, XS, all appear to be below the limits of 2W/kg for the trunk and 4W/kg for the extremities.

Extract of table from the ANFR open data

What comparisons can be made between the ANFR tests and those of the Chicago Tribune?

First of all, they confirm, without possible doubt, that the distance allowed by international regulations to ensure the safety of users is completely inadequate. For 30 years, the distance used to carry out certifications and controls has been completely inappropriate in relation to our uses.
The regulations introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1996 are more stringent than our European and international standards based on the recommendations of ICNIRP:

  • The level of the SAR head and trunk is lower at 1.6W/kg compared to 2W/kg
  • Exposure is calculated on 1gr of tissue and on 10gr in Europe
  • The exposure time for the SAR extremities is 30mn compared to 6mn elsewhere.

This has very significant consequences on our real exposure level in Europe. In a recent article published in April 2019 in the IEEE journal, Prof. Om Ghandi, after analyzing the results of the ANFR tests, confirmed that the difference in exposure between 1gr and 10gr increases between 2.5 and 3 times the SAR value for the user. For example, the iPhone 5 tested at 0mm is 5.321 W/kg for 10gr and for 1gr, between 12 and 15 W/kg, i.e. more than 6 to 7 times the value not to be exceeded.

Tested at 2mm, the SAR of the iPhone 7 at more than 7 W/kg

In addition, the results obtained for the iPhone 7 raise many questions. During the control carried out by ANFR in May 2016, the latter had a SAR level of 1.34 W/kg for 10 gr. However, the 4 iPhones tested by the Chicago Tribune all have much higher than normal SAR levels for both standard and modified tests. Moreover, the tests carried out at a distance of 2mm show even greater deviations than those revealed by ANFR.

What would be your provisional conclusion?

First of all, that we are faced with repeated evidence of deception on the part of Apple. Indeed, to defend itself against the Chicago Tribune’s revelations, the Apple manufacturer immediately questioned the relevance of the tests carried out, despite the fact that they were conducted by an expert firm approved by the FCC.

But here, Apple cannot question the results of the French agency’s tests, which also show similar results. ANFR communicated these results to Apple. Thus requested by the journalist Pierre le Hir of the newspaper Le Monde on December 23, 2016 in his article “Suspicions about the waves of mobile phones”, Apple “did not wish to make any comment.”

 

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