When the Chicago Tribune commissioned tests on smartphones made by Apple and Samsung to determine whether or not the devices exceed radiation safety standards, they probably already had a good idea of the outcome. The tests showed an excess of radiation being emitted by many of these devices. Within one week, a class action lawsuit had already been filed.
The Tribune reported that the test results on the iPhone 7, which is one of the best selling cell phones of all time, showed that the device exposes people to radio-frequency radiation that “measured over the legal safety limit and more than double what Apple reported to federal regulators from its own testing.”
Three Samsung models that were tested by the newspaper returned results within legal safety limits unless they were used with two mm of the body. Then, the exposure well exceeded the accepted standard.
On August 23, a class action lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California alleging that cell phone owners using their devices in a shirt or pants pocket may be exposed to radiation at a rate of as much as 500 percent of the legal safety limit.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs lay out the risks associated with prolonged exposure to radiation in excess of the limits set by the FCC. Such exposure may lead to increased stress on a cellular level, more cancer diagnoses, damage to genetic structures and harm to the reproductive systems. Additionally, exposure to radiation may lead to neurological disorders and learning and memory problems.
Plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers of these phones have deliberately misled consumers into believeing that there was no risk of excess radiation exposure through use of these devices.
Concurrently, the FCC is launching an investigation into cell phones to determine whether or not they do in fact emit radiation in excess of their standards.
Apple says that the testing carried out at the behest of the Tribune was not conducted at appropriate laboratory standards. Samsung issued a similar statement, claiming that all devices that they sell in the US comply with all applicable safety standards.