Law Firm Sues Apple and Samsung, Claiming Phones Exceed Radiofrequency Radiation Safety Levels

Chicago-based law firm Fegan Scott has levied a lawsuit against both Apple and Samsung, claiming that independent testing suggests the radiofrequency radiation levels in recent smartphones "far exceeded the federal limits" when used "as marketed by the manufacturers."

The basis for this lawsuit dates back to August, when The Chicago Tribune launched an investigation into the radiofrequency radiation levels output by popular smartphones.

rftestiphone7

RF Radiation Testing Results from a Chicago Times Investigation in August

The paper hired an accredited lab to test several smartphones according to federal guidelines, and found that some of Apple's iPhones are allegedly emitting radiofrequency radiation that exceeds safety limits.

Apple disputed the results and in a statement, said that the testing was 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," the statement said. "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."

At the time, the FCC said that it would launch its own investigation into the results, and a day after The Chicago Tribune published its findings, the Fegan Scott law firm pledged to launch its own investigation into the claims.

Fegan Scott enlisted an FCC-accredited laboratory to do its own testing of six smartphone models at distances ranging from zero to 10 millimeters to measure the radiofrequency radiation emitted when touching or in close proximity to the body.

The lab that did the testing claims that at two millimeters, the ‌iPhone‌ 8 and Galaxy S8 were "more than twice the federal exposure limit" and at zero millimeters, the ‌iPhone‌ 8 was "five times more than the federal exposure limit."

After receiving the results, Fegan Scott has decided to launch an official lawsuit against both Apple and Samsung covering the ‌iPhone‌ 7 Plus, the ‌iPhone‌ 8, the ‌iPhone‌ XR, the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9, and the Galaxy S10. From attorney Beth Fegan:

"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 true. It 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."

According to Fegan Scott, the testing conducted by the lab reflects "actual use conditions" rather than the "conditions set by manufacturers," which means the testing was likely not done in the same way that Apple does its own internal testing. Apple, for example, tests at 5mm, not 0mm and 2mm.

The Chicago Tribune's original testing was done in a manner to simulate the worst possible scenario, with the phone operating in low signal and full power to create the maximum radiofrequency radiation level. It's not clear how the law firm's testing was carried out.

There is no evidence that radiofrequency radiation levels above the federal limits have the potential to cause harm, so consumers should not be alarmed at this time. The FCC is doing its own independent testing and those results should provide more insight into the safety of smartphones.

Apple tells its customers worried about radiofrequency radiation exposure to use a hands-free option, and some past ‌iPhone‌ models have included recommended carrying distances. With the ‌iPhone‌ 4 and 4s, for example, Apple said the smartphones should be held at least 10mm away from the body, and there was a similar suggestion made for the ‌iPhone‌ 7.

The lawsuit is seeking damages from Apple as well as funds to pay for medical monitoring.

Tag: lawsuit

Top Rated Comments

codewrangler Avatar
24 months ago
If true, they should be suing the FCC, since they blessed the devices for consumer use. You can't blame Apple or Samsung for complying with FCC radio power requirements. You need to change the standard that the FCC uses...this is baseless litigation.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SVTmaniac Avatar
24 months ago
3.6 Roentgen. Not great, not terrible.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
24 months ago

Exactly. I don't know how many times I've tried to explain to my dad that "emf" is on the opposite end of the spectrum of the radiation that can give you cancer - physics dictate that the worst that can happen to you from these frequencies is that you might get a little warm.
I wonder why nobody freaked out about this in the 80s and 90s when analog cellphones were transmitting an entire watt or more ERP, yet nobody got hurt by that. Modern phones put out a tiny fraction of that, and people are freaking out.

I'm so tired of this excessive paranoia.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrongey Avatar
24 months ago

Non-ionized radiation ::dropsmic::
Exactly. I don't know how many times I've tried to explain to my dad that "emf" is on the opposite end of the spectrum of the radiation that can give you cancer - physics dictate that the worst that can happen to you from these frequencies is that you might get a little warm.

Edit to add: They might have been able to get away with suing for damages because of exceeding the federal limits, but since they're asking to pay for medical monitoring, I wonder if they are going to have to try to prove that there is a medical danger from being exposed to this radiation (which they won't be able to do). It would be great if this turned into a high-profile case that finally laid this insanity to rest.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Black Belt Avatar
24 months ago
Can I sue the universe for emitting radio radiation for the past 100 billion years with no government oversight?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainApple Avatar
24 months ago
Non-ionized radiation ::dropsmic::
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

beats updater

Apple Officially Retires Beats Updater Utility in Favor of Over-the-Air Firmware Updates

Wednesday September 30, 2020 2:30 am PDT by
Apple has officially retired Beats Updater, the software utility that lets users update the firmware of their Beats Wireless headphones, earphones, and speakers. Beats Updater allows users to plug their Beats product directly into the USB port of their computer to check for firmware updates online, but with Apple's growing tendency to deliver over-the-air updates to wireless products via iOS ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...