Law firm claims that the iPhone exceeds radiation safety levels

Product (RED) iPhone 7
Product (RED) iPhone 7 (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple and Samsung are being sued for radiation levels in their phones.
  • The law firm claims that both companies knowingly released devices with unsafe radiation levels.
  • Apple had refuted earlier claims saying that the testing that was done was inaccurate.

Chicago-based law firm FeganScott has levied a lawsuit against both Apple and Samsung, claiming that both companies have released smartphones that "far exceeded the federal limits" of radiofrequency radiation levels. Reported by Macrumors, the basis for the lawsuit began in August when the Chicago Tribune launched its own investigation into the radiofrequency radiation of popular smartphones that found that some iPhone models exceeded acceptable levels.

The firm enlisted the help of an FCC-accredited lab and tested the iPhone 8 at distances ranging from zero to 10 millimeters from the body. When tested at two millimeters, the iPhone 8 reached radiation levels more than "twice the federal exposure limit". At zero millimeters, the "iPhone 8 was five times more than the federal exposure limit". The firm had ordered tests for iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, and iPhone X.

"Apple and Samsung smartphones have changed the way we live. Adults, teenagers, and children wake up to check their email or play games and do work or school exercises on their smartphones. They carry these devices in their pockets throughout the day and literally fall asleep with them in their beds...the manufacturers told consumers this was safe, so we knew it was important to test the RF radiation exposure and see if this was is not true. The independent results confirm that RF radiation levels are well over the federal exposure limit, sometimes exceeding it by 500 percent, when phones are used in the way Apple and Samsung encourage us to. Consumers deserve to know the truth."

Apple had responded to the Chicago Tribute report, saying that the testing that was done is inaccurate "due to the test setup not being in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the iPhone models."

"All iPhone models, including iPhone 7, are fully certified by the FCC and in every other country where iPhone is sold...after careful review and subsequent validation of all iPhone models tested in the (Tribune) report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable...exposure guidelines and limits."

Apple has not yet responded to the lawsuit brought forth by FeganScott. The law firm says that the lawsuit aims to prove that both Apple and Samsung were aware of unacceptable radiation levels when they released certain products to the public.

"Smartphone owners across the country deserve to know that the RF radiation levels from smartphones when touching the skin or used close to the body may be unsafe. The emails and calls from concerned consumers have increased as more research comes to light, and it is our goal to show that Apple and Samsung were aware of the alarmingly high radiation levels when their products arrived on the market."

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.