Human exposure to electromagnetic fields and SAR: tests, developments and regulations

Thanks to the ever-increasing diffusion of electrical and electronic equipment and new telecommunications technologies, the topic ofhuman exposure to electromagnetic pollution has acquired greater importance.

Let's talk clearly about intentional emissions – such as those generated by radio frequency or microwave telecommunications systems – but also of what is produced by the so-called involuntary emitters, such as device tools, devices related to the wireless universe, electro-medical equipment, electrical distribution lines and many other technologies.

In a constantly evolving landscape, it is essential to ensure the health of exposed users, carrying out the assessment of human exposure which is, as is known, mandatory for all electrical and electronic equipment marketed.

Tests of human exposure to electromagnetic fields

The checks of human exposure to electromagnetic fields – a topic to which one was recently dedicated monograph by the Italian Electrotechnical Committee – they are a key element of tests relating to the safety of an electrical or electronic product.

This type of verification can be conducted by applying a good variety of methodologies, in relation to the type of product, the type of electromagnetic field source and the position that the product will occupy in relation to the users.

Specific methodologies are used to examine equipment to be used close to the human body and different systems for all those equipment intended to be positioned, for example, on a table or on a wall. In the same way we intervene on the devices that must be used for their use positioned near your ear – like mobile phones – with dedicated methodologies, given the peculiarities related to the use of this type of device.

SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) tests

For all portable equipment to be used near the head or body it is necessary to measure the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) that is, the measurement that indicates how much radio frequency energy is absorbed by the user's body or head. The values in question allow you to verify that the established limits are respected for safe exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Following the guidelines defined byInternational Committee for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and other countries have approved harmonized standards that establish maximum emission levels allowed to limit absorption within certain safety thresholds. The SAR limits are therefore essential to protect consumers from emissions from radio devices that exceed the expected radio frequency transmission threshold.

Have them carried out human exposure tests and measurement of SAR, by a specialized laboratory such as Sicom Testing, according to all European standards on electrical, electronic and radio devices, it is a particularly important obligation to proceed with theplacing products on the market, as well as their durable, safe and commercialization without risk.

Human exposure, SAR and regulations

Net of the different regulations which, in all countries of the world, limit the maximum levels of exposure, the European situation refers in particular to two contents. The first is the European Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC which defines the guidelines for the "Limitation of population exposure to electromagnetic fields from 0 Hz to 300 Ghz".

The Recommendation examines reference levels for electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields. The limits in question derive from international scientific studies by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), published in 1998 and substantially reconfirmed in 2020. The EU recommendation leaves Member States the possibility of defining more stringent protection levels of those proposed.

There Directive 2013/35/EU, however, presents the minimum safety and health provisions relating to the exposure of workers to risks deriving from electromagnetic fields (EMF). The scope of the directive includes all known direct biophysical effects and indirect effects caused by electromagnetic fields.

To request further information on this topic, write to
or call +39 0481 778931.

Related articles

human_exposure rain phone Electrical diagram analysis Family House Safety

Questions and comments

If you have any questions or comments
Sicom Testing will be happy to answer you.