Radio Frequency Exposure Rules to Take Effect

Rules issued in 2019 by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the measurement of human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) emissions are scheduled to take effect on May 3rd.

As reported on the website of the ARRL, the rules do not change existing RF exposure limits. Rather, they impose a more thorough evaluation of RF emissions in potentially higher-exposure situations, including amateur radio operations, while also providing a more streamlined exemption process in low-exposure situations, such as with low-power devices, relatively large distances between the RF source and a person’s body, and/or duration of exposure.

Originally released in December 2019 along with other rulings on human exposure to RF, the FCC’s Second Report and Order also clarifies the calculation or measurement methodologies to be used to determine potential RF exposure levels in cases where exemptions do not apply. It also addresses post-evaluation RF exposure mitigation procedures, including access, signage, and training to help minimize the risk of excessive RF exposure.

The FCC’s 2019 Second Report and Order on human exposure to RF is available at

The ARRL posting on the implementation of the new RF exposure evaluation requirements is available at


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