New RF Exposure Compliance Rules Take Effect May 3, 2021

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The FCC has announced that the 2019 modifications to the FCC’s radiofrequency (RF) exposure standards will become effective on May 3, 2021. As part of a comprehensive evaluation of its RF exposure standards in 2019, the FCC modified the methods used to determine compliance with the FCC’s limits on human exposure to RF. While keeping the long-standing RF exposure limits the same, the FCC streamlined the criteria for determining when a licensee is exempt from its RF exposure evaluation criteria, replacing the prior regime of service-based exemptions with a set of formulas for situations in which the risk of excessive RF exposure is minimal. The FCC also provided calculations that should be used if a general exemption does not apply, and mitigation procedures that should be used to ensure that the general public and RF-trained workers are not exposed to RF levels in excess of the FCC’s exposure limits. The FCC also adopted a two-year period for parties to verify compliance under the new rules, which begins on May 3. The modification or construction of new facilities after May 3 must be in compliance with the new RF rules when they go into operation, even if located on an existing, registered antenna structure.

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