UPDATE from Rich K3VAT:

In the last SVARC Zoom Meeting (4/15/2021) during the VP Report, I mentioned that: “The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023.

Additionally, I mentioned that a large part of future SVARC Program Presentations would be centered around this very important topic because it affects every amateur using any kind of radio transmitter whatsoever.  I am currently watching the ARRL.ORG website for updates that will be passed along.  For the first presentation on May 6, 2021, I’ve chosen a 20-minute YouTube by Dave Casler, KE0OG.

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FCC’s 2019 R&O on RF Exposure Standards

The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023. After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change its RFE profile — such as different antenna or placement or greater power — will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

“In the RF Report and Order, the Commission anticipated that few parties would have to conduct reevaluations under the new rules and that such evaluations will be relatively straightforward,” the FCC said in an April 2 Public Notice. “It nevertheless adopted a 2-year period for parties to verify and ensure compliance under the new rules.”  The Amateur Service is no longer categorically excluded from certain aspects of the rules, as amended, and licensees can no longer avoid performing an exposure assessment simply because they are transmitting below a given power level.

RF Exposure and You is available for free download from ARRL. ARRL also has an RF Safety page on its website.

The contents of the ARRL document delineates five sections that are pertinent to ALL licensed amateur radio operators –

  • A Section on the ARRL RF Safety Committee
  • The IEEE Standard for Safety Levels with respect to human exposure to RF
  • A section on “Where do RF Standards come from?”
  • The FCC RF Exposure Regulations
  • Typical RF Field Strengths near Amateur Radio Antennas

I encourage you to review the ARRL Article. I will be providing updates on this important topic.