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FCC Safety Limits for Electric Fields, Magnetic Fields & RF Radiation

How crazy are the current FCC guidelines for EMF exposures? Take a typical cell phone tower which operates at 1800 MHz, the FCC maximum exposure limit is 1 mW/cm2, that’s to say 1000 μW/cm2.  The 2012 BioInitiative report [1] recommends a precautionary level of 0.0003 μW/cm2 to 0.0006 μW/cm2.

These official guidelines are at the heart of the controversy over EMF exposures. They are considered to offer virtually no protection to the general public.

The current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines for Electromagnetic Field exposures, including radio frequency (RF) Radiation are shown in the 2 tables below. The second table, general population exposures of electromagnetic fields, will be the one most people will want to refer to.

Limits for Occupational/Controlled Exposure

Frequency        Electric Field    Magnetic Field      Power Density        Averaging Time

Range Strength (E) Strength (H) (S) E  2,    H  2   or S
(MHz)                       (V/m)                   (A/m)              (mW/cm2)            (minutes)
0.3-3.0 614 1.63 (100)*

6

3.0-30 1842/f 4.89/f (900/f2)*

6

30-300 61.4 0.163 1.0

6

300-1500 f/300

6

1500-100,000 5

6

 

Limits for General Population/Uncontrolled Exposure

Frequency         Electric Field       Magnetic Field      Power Density    Averaging Time

Range Strength (E) Strength (H) (S) E  2, H  2   or S
(MHz)                       (V/m)                   (A/m)                    (mW/cm2)            (minutes)
0.3-1.34 614 1.63 (100)*

30

1.34-30 824/f 2.19/f (180/f2)*

30

30-300 27.5 0.073 0.2

30

300-1500 f/1500

30

1500-100,000 1.0

30

f = frequency in MHz                          *Plane-wave equivalent power density

 

NOTE 1:  Occupational/controlled limits apply in situations in which persons are exposed as a consequence of their employment provided those persons are fully aware of the potential for exposure and can exercise control over their exposure.  Limits for occupational/controlled exposure also apply in situations when an individual is transient through a location where occupational/controlled limits apply provided he or she is made aware of the potential for exposure.

NOTE 2:  General population/uncontrolled exposures apply in situations in which the general public may be exposed, or in which persons that are exposed as a consequence of their employment may not be fully aware of the potential for exposure or can not exercise control over their exposure.”

The information above is an extract from the FCC OET Bulletin 56, click here [2] to consult the PDF in full.