(a) Requirements of this section are a consequence of Commission responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the environmental significance of its actions. See subpart I of part 1 of this chapter, in particular § 1.1307(b).
(b) For purposes of this section, a portable device is defined as a transmitting device designed to be used so that the radiating structure(s) of the device is/are within 20 centimeters of the body of the user.
(c) Portable devices that operate in the Cellular Radiotelephone Service, the Personal Communications Service (PCS), the Satellite Communications Services, the General Wireless Communications Service, the Wireless Communications Service, the Maritime Services, the Specialized Mobile Radio Service, the 4.9 GHz Band Service, the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS) and the Medical Implant Communications Service (MICS), authorized under subpart H of part 22 of this chapter, parts 24, 25, 26, 27, 80 (ship earth station devices only) and 90 of this chapter, subparts H and I of part 95 of this chapter, and unlicensed personal communication service, unlicensed NII devices and millimeter wave devices authorized under subparts D and E, §§ 15.253, 15.255 and 15.257 of this chapter are subject to routine environmental evaluation for RF exposure prior to equipment authorization or use. All other portable transmitting devices are categorically excluded from routine environmental evaluation for RF exposure prior to equipment authorization or use, except as specified in §§ 1.1307(c) and 1.1307(d) of this chapter. Applications for equipment authorization of portable transmitting devices subject to routine environmental evaluation must contain a statement confirming compliance with the limits specified in paragraph (d) of this section as part of their application. Technical information showing the basis for this statement must be submitted to the Commission upon request.
(d) The limits to be used for evaluation are based generally on criteria published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for localized specific absorption rate (“SAR”) in Section 4.2 of “IEEE Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz,” ANSI/IEEE C95.1-1992, Copyright 1992 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., New York, New York 10017. These criteria for SAR evaluation are similar to those recommended by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) in “Biological Effects and Exposure Criteria for Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields,” NCRP Report No. 86, Section 17.4.5. Copyright NCRP, 1986, Bethesda, Maryland 20814. SAR is a measure of the rate of energy absorption due to exposure to an RF transmitting source. SAR values have been related to threshold levels for potential biological hazards. The criteria to be used are specified in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section and shall apply for portable devices transmitting in the frequency range from 100 kHz to 6 GHz. Portable devices that transmit at frequencies above 6 GHz are to be evaluated in terms of the MPE limits specified in § 1.1310 of this chapter. Measurements and calculations to demonstrate compliance with MPE field strength or power density limits for devices operating above 6 GHz should be made at a minimum distance of 5 cm from the radiating source.
(1) Limits for Occupational/Controlled exposure: 0.4 W/kg as averaged over the whole-body and spatial peak SAR not exceeding 8 W/kg as averaged over any 1 gram of tissue (defined as a tissue volume in the shape of a cube). Exceptions are the hands, wrists, feet and ankles where the spatial peak SAR shall not exceed 20 W/kg, as averaged over an 10 grams of tissue (defined as a tissue volume in the shape of a cube). Occupational/Controlled limits apply when persons are exposed as a consequence of their employment provided these persons are fully aware of and exercise control over their exposure. Awareness of exposure can be accomplished by use of warning labels or by specific training or education through appropriate means, such as an RF safety program in a work environment.
(2) Limits for General Population/Uncontrolled exposure: 0.08 W/kg as averaged over the whole-body and spatial peak SAR not exceeding 1.6 W/kg as averaged over any 1 gram of tissue (defined as a tissue volume in the shape of a cube). Exceptions are the hands, wrists, feet and ankles where the spatial peak SAR shall not exceed 4 W/kg, as averaged over any 10 grams of tissue (defined as a tissue volume in the shape of a cube). General Population/Uncontrolled limits apply when the general public may be exposed, or when persons that are exposed as a consequence of their employment may not be fully aware of the potential for exposure or do not exercise control over their exposure. Warning labels placed on consumer devices such as cellular telephones will not be sufficient reason to allow these devices to be evaluated subject to limits for occupational/controlled exposure in paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(3) Compliance with SAR limits can be demonstrated by either laboratory measurement techniques or by computational modeling. Methodologies and references for SAR evaluation are described in numerous technical publications including “IEEE Recommended Practice for the Measurement of Potentially Hazardous Electromagnetic Fields—RF and Microwave,” IEEE C95.3-1991.
(4) For purposes of analyzing portable transmitting devices under the occupational/controlled criteria, the time-averaging provisions of the MPE guidelines identified in § 1.1310 of this chapter can be used in conjunction with typical maximum duty factors to determine maximum likely exposure levels.
(5) Time-averaging provisions of the MPE guidelines identified in § 1.1310 of this chapter may not be used in determining typical exposure levels for portable devices intended for use by consumers, such as hand-held cellular telephones, that are considered to operate in general population/uncontrolled environments as defined above. However, “source-based” time-averaging based on an inherent property or duty-cycle of a device is allowed. An example of this would be the determination of exposure from a device that uses digital technology such as a time-division multiple-access (TDMA) scheme for transmission of a signal. In general, maximum average power levels must be used to determine compliance.