08/05/2021The FCC has adopted guidelines and procedures for evaluating environmental effects of RF emissions. Under the new FCC rules, some amateurs need to perform routine station evaluations to ensure that their stations comply with the RF exposure rules. This can be as simple as running an online calculator to determine the minimum safe distance between any part of your antenna and areas where people might be exposed to RF energy from your station. Although amateurs can make measurements of their stations, evaluations can also be done by calculation.
The FCC guidelines already incorporate two tiers of exposure limits based on whether exposure occurs in an occupational or “controlled” situation, or whether the general population is exposed or exposure is in an “uncontrolled” situation.
To make this easy for amateurs, ARRL now provides an RF exposure calculator on its RF Exposure page. To use the calculator, enter your transmit peak-envelope power (PEP) and operating mode, and answer the questions about the maximum amount of time you might be transmitting. The calculator will give you the minimum distance people must be from your antenna and human exposure.
You can print the results and keep them in your station records. There is no requirement to send your results to the FCC.
Online RF Exposure Calculator Page