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Question 7/5

Question 7/5 – Human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) due to radio systems and mobile equipment
(Continuation of Question 3/5)


The World Health Organization International EMF project has established a framework for establishing health based standards and has developed a Model Legislation about EMF that provides the legal framework for implementing protection programs against non-ionizing radiation. An important aspect of this Model Legislation is that it is based on international standards that limit EMF exposure of people (such as ICNIRP guidelines) and on international standards addressing the emission of EMF (such as IEC and IEEE standards and ITU Recommendations).

Radiocommunication systems are contributing to electromagnetic fields in the environment. Therefore telecommunication operators, manufacturers, government agencies and other entities have to assess (i.e. measure or calculate) the levels of electromagnetic fields emitted to the environment by telecommunication systems and radiocommunication systems including radio terminals and to check if the total exposure complies with the applicable national or international EMF legislation (ICNIRP guidelines, IEEE standards).

This Question will cover guidelines for the protection of people exposed to EMF emitted by wireless telecommunication equipment based on the existing international standards and Recommendations dedicated to electrical, electronic and related technologies, such as those developed by the IEC, IEEE or ITU. These guidelines should provide appropriate support countries in establishing national regulations concerning EMF effects.

The following Recommendations, in force at the time of approval of this Question, fall under its responsibility:

  • K.52, K.61, K.70 and K.83.


This Question has to provide a high level framework for managing the human exposure to EMFs (regulatory practices) emitted by the telecommunication equipment and guidelines for the assessment of human exposure based on the existing standards and recommendations.

To achieve this goal, this question will address measuring techniques, procedures and numerical modelling for evaluating the electromagnetic field due to telecommunication systems and radio terminals.

Study items to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Site measurements in the real environment of the multiple sources operating on different frequencies and different transmitting antennas;
  • Use and modelling of different transmitting antennas: broadband antennas, multi-band antennas, antenna systems, smart antennas etc.;
  • Approximation associated with various algorithms for determining the validity of electromagnetic field predictions;
  • Procedures and guidance on numerical modelling of the electromagnetic fields in the areas around telecommunication transmitting antennas: accuracy, uncertainty, reflections, influence of the human body etc.;
  • Guidance on the field levels that occur around transmitting antennas used for various telecommunication systems;
  • Guidance based on existing SAR measuring and calculating procedures, techniques and protocols for evaluating the electromagnetic field due to radiocommunication equipment;
  • Work concerning guidance on the selection of spatial averaging method based on the results of measurements;
  • Handbook on Human exposure to EMF in which the answers for the frequently asked questions will be provided;
  • Guidance concerning measurement of human exposure levels when a wireless installation is put into service.


Tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Recommendation for management of human exposure to EMFs emitted to the environment by telecommunication equipment based on existing international standards;
  • Activities specified in WTSA-08 Resolution 72 “Measurement concerns related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields” in order to assist developing countries in human exposure assessment. Activities specified in Resolution 176 “Human exposure to and measurement of electromagnetic fields”, Plenipotentiary Conference 2010, Guadalajara;
  • Maintenance and enhancement of the existing Recommendations K.52, K.61, K.70 and K.83.

An up-to-date status of work under this Question is contained in the SG 5 work programme (use URL as shown in the table below).




  • K-series


  • 4/5

Study Groups:

  • ITU-R SG 6, ITU-R SG1, ITU-D SG2

Standardisation bodies, forums and consortia: