The scientific evidence indicates radio frequency (RF) exposures that are at or below current U.S. safety limits do not cause health problems.
Nevertheless, RF safety is a serious matter. In fact, as recently as 2019, the FCC updated its regulations regarding RF safety given the concern of consumers over the safety of cellphone RF.
Electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together (that is, radiating) through space at the speed of light. Taken together, all forms of electromagnetic energy are referred to as the electromagnetic spectrum.
Radio waves and microwaves emitted by transmitting antennas are one form of electromagnetic energy. Often the term electromagnetic field or radiofrequency (RF) field may be used to indicate the presence of electromagnetic or RF energy.
An RF field has both an electric and a magnetic component (electric field and magnetic field), and it is often convenient to express the intensity of the RF environment at a given location in terms of units specific for each component.
The quantity used to measure how much RF energy is actually absorbed in a body is called the specific absorption rate (SAR). It is usually expressed in units of watts per kilogram (W/kg) or milliwatts per gram (mW/g).
In the case of whole-body exposure, a standing human adult can absorb RF energy at a maximum rate when the frequency of the RF radiation is in the range of about 80 and 100 MHz, meaning that the whole-body SAR is at a maximum under these conditions (resonance). Because of this resonance phenomenon, RF safety standards are generally most restrictive for these frequencies.
Biological effects that result from heating of tissue by RF energy are often referred to as “thermal” effects. Adhering to RF safety regulations are essential because it has been known for many years that exposure to very high levels of RF radiation can be harmful due to the ability of RF energy to rapidly heat biological tissue. This is the principle by which microwave ovens cook food.
Tissue damage in humans could occur during exposure to high RF levels because of the body’s inability to cope with or dissipate the excessive heat that could be generated. Two areas of the body, the eyes and the testes, are particularly vulnerable to RF heating because of the relative lack of available blood flow to dissipate the excessive heat load
Want to learn more? Tonex offers RF Safety Training, a 2-day course for anyone who may encounter RF fields or RF exposure. RF Safety Training is also required training for employees and sub-contractors in the telecommunications industry.
Appropriate RF safety training like the type offered by Tonex teaches workers to recognize RF radiation hazards and control their exposure.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.