EMF FAQ

Amateur licence conditions require that we take safety precautions against RF radiation in line with Public Health England recommendations. The underlying requirement is to protect the public from exposure to EMF, which could damage health.
The International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) issues Guidelines for public exposure to electromagnetic fields. These are widely accepted and set the 'reference levels' for exposure to electric and magnetic fields. The latest edition was released in 2020 and is superceding the previous 1998 guidelines.

Yes. The RSGB EMC Committee (EMCC) has prepared a spreadsheet in which you can fill in the relevant station parameters for each band you use, which is on our EMF webpage. That would then give you the separation distances needed to areas where people are present while you are transmitting. The spreadsheet can be kept as a record that you have assessed your station. An online webpage version of this tool is also envisaged.

We will also be preparing and publishing a guidance note for those who might want to carry out more detailed assessments for situations when the simple spreadsheet is insufficient for their station setup. In the near-field the simple spreadsheet calculations are inadequate, so we are also developing a set of pre-assessed configurations that will meet the ICNIRP exposure limit requirements.

We recommend not to try measuring the field strengths yourselves as such measurements are very variable, require expensive calibrated equipment and careful following of measuring procedures. Do not try to measure EMF’s at full power / high gain antennas as this could expose you to unsafe levels of EMF. Do not use cheap meters available on the web as these do not measure RF fields and give incorrect readings.

Our EMF webpage has has our downloadable spreadsheet for basic assessments. We plan to develop and make available further aids in due course.

The EMF page also has additional background on the topic including our responses to the two Ofcom EMF consultations that were held in 2020.