Committed to connecting the world


ITU-T Recommendations

ITU-T Recommendations on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields

Rec. No.TitleSummaryStatusApproval Date
K.83 Monitoring of electromagnetic field levelsRecommendation ITU-T K.83 gives guidance on how to make long-term measurements for the monitoring of electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the selected areas that are under public concern, in order to show that EMFs are under control and under the limits. The purpose of this Recommendation is to provide for the general public clear and easily available data concerning electromagnetic field levels in the form of results of continuous measurement.Approved2020-06-29
K.91 Guidance for assessment, evaluation and monitoring of human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fieldsThere are many possible methods of exposure assessment and each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Recommendation ITU-T K.91 gives guidance on how to assess and monitor human exposure to radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in areas with surrounding radiocommunication installations based on existing exposure and compliance standards in the 9 kHz to 300 GHz range. This includes procedures for evaluating exposure and how to show compliance with exposure limits with reference to existing standards. Recommendation ITU-T K.91 is oriented to the examination of the area accessible to people in the real environment of currently operated services with many different sources of RF EMF, but also gives references to standards and Recommendations related to EMF compliance of products. Recommendation ITU-T K.91 includes an electronic attachment containing an uncertainty calculator and the Watt guard modules.Approved2020-06-29
K Suppl. 1 ITU-T K.91 – Guide on electromagnetic fields and health The objective of Supplement 1 to the ITU-T K-series Recommendations is to answer questions commonly posed by the public on the electromagnetic field (EMF) phenomenon and to address related concerns. This Guide on electromagnetic fields and health aims to: • Provide electromagnetic field (EMF) information and education resources suitable for all communities, stakeholders and governments. • Support clarification of the science by referencing the World Health Organization (WHO) and other stakeholders (see NOTE) that provide information that is particularly useful in helping to clarify scientific uncertainties e.g., in the areas of radio frequency (RF) technology, infrastructure implementation, usage and consequential EMF exposure. NOTE – The primary reference on EMF and health is the World Health Organization (WHO). The primary reference on EMF assessment methods is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).Approved2020-05-20
K Suppl. 20 ITU-T K.91 – Supplement on radiofrequency exposure evaluation around underground base stationsMeasurement and computation methods of human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from fixed radio sources like mobile base stations have been standardized and published as ITU-T K-series Recommendations and IEC 62232. These also include methods prescribed in Japanese regulation and have been basically assumed to be applied to radio sources installed above the ground. Underground base stations for use in small cells of fourth generation (4G) mobile networks are installed underground to construct service areas above the ground. Supplement 20 to ITU-T K-series Recommendations contains the measurement results of radio frequency exposure from underground base stations, to evaluate the exposure from these base stations.Approved2020-05-20
K.145 Assessment and management of compliance with radio frequency electromagnetic field exposure limits for workers at radiocommunication sites and facilitiesRecommendation ITU-T K.145 includes guidance on the protection of workers against radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) exposure in their working environments. Radio frequency (RF) workers range from installation engineers and tower climbers to R&D personnel and laboratory testing engineers. All of these RF workers are exposed to stronger RF-EMF fields than the general public. There are also RF informed workers who have been provided with information on RF-EMF safe working practices for a site as well as all other workers who are regarded as members of the public for the purposes of RF-EMF exposure limits. This Recommendation provides minimum general safety guidance for telecommunication RF workers around the world.Approved2019-11-13
K Suppl. 14 The impact of RF-EMF exposure limits stricter than the ICNIRP or IEEE guidelines on 4G and 5G mobile network deploymentRadio frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure limits have become a critical concern for further deployment of wireless networks, especially in countries, regions and even specific cities where RF-EMF limits are significantly stricter than the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) or Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) guidelines. This problem currently affects several countries, such as China, India, Poland, Russia, Italy and Switzerland, regions of Belgium or cities such as Paris. Supplement 14 to the ITU-T K-series of Recommendations provides an overview of some of the challenges faced by countries, regions and cities that are about to deploy 4G or 5G infrastructures. It provides information on a simulation carried out in Poland of the impact of RF-EMF limits as an example of a wider phenomenon, applicable to several other countries that have set limits stricter than those contained in the ICNIRP or IEEE guidelines. The results of the simulation indicate that, where RF-EMF limits are stricter than ICNIRP or IEEE guidelines, the network capacity buildout (both 4G and 5G) might be severely constrained and prevent growing data traffic demand and the launching of new services on existing mobile networks being addressed.Approved2019-09-20
K Suppl. 19 Electromagnetic field (EMF) strength inside underground railway trainsThe electromagnetic field (EMF) environment surrounding underground railway trains is among those most frequently met by the general public in daily life. When an underground railway train passes through a tunnel, especially, passengers are exposed to the EMF radiated by several repeaters installed on the wall. EMF sources are close to passengers under these conditions. Supplement 19 to ITU-T K-series Recommendations reports evaluations of EMF exposure levels in underground railway trains from mobile communication base stations installed in tunnels.Approved2019-09-20
K.100 Measurement of radio frequency electromagnetic fields to determine compliance with human exposure limits when a base station is put into serviceRecommendation ITU-T K.100 provides information on measurement techniques and procedures for assessing compliance with the general public electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure limits when a new base station (BS) is put into service, taking into account effects of the environment and other relevant radio frequency sources present in its surroundings.Approved2019-07-14
K Suppl. 9 5G technology and human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fieldsThe deployment of fifth generation (5G) will see the evolution and expansion of existing fourth generation (4G) networks and the introduction of new radio access networks in millimetre wavebands. As a result of the use of much higher frequency ranges, the number of base stations will substantially increase. These networks will include a range of installations including smaller cell deployments and advanced antenna technologies. Massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antennas will allow the use of very narrow beams that will follow the user with an impact on the surrounding exposure level different from that of current systems. The number of wireless devices will dramatically increase. New technology allows for the use of more efficient systems that require lower communication signal levels. Supplement 9 to ITU-T K-series Recommendations contains an analysis of the impact of the implementation of 5G mobile systems with respect to the exposure level of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) around radiocommunication infrastructure.Approved2019-05-22
K Suppl. 4 ITU-T K.91 - Electromagnetic field considerations in smart sustainable citiesThe content of this Supplement 2 to Recommendation ITU-T K.91 was prepared by the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC) and updated within Q3/5 sessions during SG5 meeting. Wireless networks provide vital infrastructure and connection of information and communication technology (ICT) elements that underpin smart sustainable cities. The effective design and careful deployment of wireless networks and short range devices (SRDs) are vital to ensuring electromagnetic field (EMF) compliance and maximum efficiency for ICTs. Key features of this Supplement are: a) It details the EMF considerations in smart sustainable cities. b) It provides guidance on implementation and promotes efficient deployment of wireless networks in smart sustainable cities. c) It features a 'Smart sustainability city EMF check-list' designed to provide an easy to use reference for city officials and planners to ensure smart city policies operate most efficiently and comply with EMF exposure standards. d) It references World Health Organization (WHO) materials, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines, ITU-T Recommendations and IEC Standards. It is not intended to replicate the material in all references. Approved2018-09-21
K.90 Evaluation techniques and working procedures for compliance with exposure limits of network operator personnel to power-frequency electromagnetic fieldsRecommendation ITU-T K.90 provides evaluation techniques and guidelines for compliance with safety limits for human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of telecommunication network personnel (e.g., outside plant craft) at power frequencies (DC, 50 Hz and 60 Hz). This Recommendation does not set safety limits; it seeks to provide techniques and procedures for determining the need for any precautions at the work site. This Recommendation includes an electronic attachment containing the EMFACDC program. Approved2018-07-14
K Suppl. 13 Radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure levels from mobile and portable devices during different conditions of useModern mobile devices may be used for many different purposes. There are differences between the ways of using them depending on the service. Also, the exposure to RF-EMF is different depending on the service, environment and the conditions of the use of the mobile devices. This Supplement describes the various factors that determine the level of RF-EMF exposure, as defined by the specific absorption rate (SAR) that is induced in the users of mobile and portable radiocommunication devices. Based on this technical information practical information and guidance is provided for users of mobile devices.Approved2018-05-25
K.52 Guidance on complying with limits for human exposure to electromagnetic fieldsRecommendation ITU-T K.52 aims to help with compliance of telecommunication installations and mobile handsets or other radiating devices used against the head with safety limits for human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). It presents general guidance, a calculation method and an installation assessment procedure. The assessment procedure for telecommunication installations, based on safety limits provided by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), helps users determine the likelihood of installation compliance based on accessibility criteria, antenna properties and emitter power. The IEC Standard for the compliance measurement of mobile handsets is recommended.Approved2018-01-13
K.61 Guidance on measurement and numerical prediction of electromagnetic fields for compliance with human exposure limits for telecommunication installationsRecommendation ITU-T K.61 helps telecommunication operators to verify compliance with exposure standards promulgated by local or national authorities. This Recommendation gives guidance on measurement methods that can be used to achieve a compliance assessment. It also provides guidance on the selection of numerical methods suitable for exposure prediction in various situations.Approved2018-01-13
K.70 Mitigation techniques to limit human exposure to EMFs in the vicinity of radiocommunication stationsITU-T Recommendation K.70 defines techniques which may be used by telecommunication operators to evaluate the cumulative (total) exposure ratio in the vicinity of transmitting antennas and to identify the main source of radiation. It offers guidance on mitigation methods which allow reduction of radiation level in order to comply with exposure limits. It also provides guidance on procedures necessary in the environment (on site) in which, in most cases, there is a simultaneous exposure to multiple frequencies from many different sources. Radiating sources may belong to many operators and may represent different radiocommunication services (e.g., cellular systems, trunking systems, broadcasting, radio relays, wireless access, etc.).Approved2018-01-13
K.121 Guidance on the environmental management for compliance with radio frequency EMF limits for radiocommunication base stationsRecommendation ITU-T K.121 gives guidance on how to manage the compliance with RF-EMF limits in areas near to radiocommunication installations and how to establish processes for responding to public concern about exposure to RF-EMF.Approved2016-12-14
K.122 Exposure levels in close proximity of radiocommunication antennasThe guidance concerning the exposure levels in close proximity to transmitting antennas is important for safety of the radiocommunication staff operating in such areas. Recommendation ITU-T K.122 gives information concerning the electric field strength levels that can be expected in close proximity to the broadcasting and radiocommunication antennas so that a comparison with the exposure limits is possible. This is important for maintenance personnel and in some cases also for the general public. In the case of workers it is recommended that affected personnel should be trained by expert staff so that they are able to assess the exposure levels in close proximity of radiocommunication antennas. There are many possible configurations of transmitting antennas. In this Recommendation the most typical ones are presented, in order to give general information about exposure levels that can be expected during the operation of radiocommunication systems. Approved2016-12-14
K.113 Generation of radiofrequency electromagnetic field level mapsRecommendation ITU-T K.113 provides guidance on how to make radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) maps for assessing existing exposure levels over large areas of cities or territories and for an appropriate public disclosure of the results, in a simple and understandable way.Approved2015-11-29
K Suppl. 3 ITU-T K.20, K.21, K.45, K.82 – Additional criteria to protect telecommunication cabling during a power cross eventThe objective of Supplement X to the ITU-T K-series Recommendations, Additional criteria to protect telecommunication cabling in the event of a power cross event, is enable the implementation of power cross protection for telecommunications cabling connected to [b-ITU-T K.20], [b-ITU-T K.21] and [b-ITU-T K.45] compliant equipment. This Additional criteria to protect telecommunication cabling in the event of a power cross event supplement aims to: • Provide current-time limitations to protect telecommunication cabling from fusing and wire insulation damage. • Explain the evolution of physical wiring simulators and their drawbacks • Provide designers with the tools to extrapolate the supplement current-time limitations data to larger and smaller conductor sizes. Approved2015-10-23