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Radio Frequency RF Safety and Antenna FAQs

What is "radiofrequency" and microwave radiation?

Electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together (i.e., radiating) through space at the speed of light. Taken together, all forms of electromagnetic energy are referred to as the electromagnetic "spectrum." Radio waves and microwaves emitted by transmitting antennas are one form of electromagnetic energy. They are collectively referred to as "radiofrequency" or "RF" energy or radiation. Often the term "electromagnetic field" or "radiofrequency field" may be used to indicate the presence of electromagnetic or RF energy.

The RF waves emanating from an antenna are generated by the movement of electrical charges in the antenna. Electromagnetic waves can be characterized by a wavelength and a frequency. The wavelength is the distance covered by one complete cycle of the electromagnetic wave, while the frequency is the number of electromagnetic waves passing a given point in one second. The frequency of an RF signal is usually expressed in terms of a unit called the "hertz" (abbreviated "Hz"). One Hz equals one cycle per second. One megahertz ("MHz") equals one million cycles per second.

Different forms of electromagnetic energy are categorized by their wavelengths and frequencies. The RF part of the electromagnetic spectrum is generally defined as that part of the spectrum where electromagnetic waves have frequencies in the range of about 3 kilohertz (3 kHz) to 300 gigahertz (300 GHz). Microwaves are a specific category of radio waves that can be defined as radiofrequency energy where frequencies range from several hundred MHz to several GHz.

What is non-ionizing radiation?
How is radiofrequency energy used?
How is radiofrequency radiation measured?
What biological effects can be caused by RF energy?
Can people be exposed to levels of radiofrequency radiation and microwaves that could be harmful?
Can radiofrequency radiation cause cancer?
What research is being done on RF biological effects?
What levels are safe for exposure to RF energy?
Why has the FCC adopted guidelines for RF exposure?
How safe are mobile phones? Can they cause cancer?
How can I obtain the specific absorption rate (SAR) value for my mobile phone?
Do "hands-free" ear pieces for mobile phones reduce exposure to RF emissions? What about mobile phone accessories that claim to shield the head from RF radiation?
Can mobile phones be used safely in hospitals and near medical telemetry equipment?
Are cellular and PCS towers and antennas safe?
Are cellular and other radio towers located near homes or schools safe for residents and students?
Are emissions from radio and television antennas safe?
How safe are radio antennas used for paging and "two-way" communications? What about "push-to-talk" radios such as "walkie-talkies?"
How safe are microwave and satellite antennas?
Are RF emissions from amateur radio stations harmful?
What is the FCC's policy on radiofrequency warning signs? For example, when should signs be posted, where should they be located and what should they say?
Can implanted electronic cardiac pacemakers be affected by nearby RF devices such as microwave ovens or cellular telephones?
Does the FCC regulate exposure to radiation from microwave ovens, television sets and computer monitors?
Does the FCC routinely monitor radiofrequency radiation from antennas?
Does the FCC maintain a database that includes information on the location and technical parameters of all the towers and antennas it regulates?
Which other federal agencies have responsibilities related to potential RF health effects
Can local and state governmental bodies establish limits for RF exposure?
Where can I obtain more information on potential health effects of radiofrequency energy?
Where can I Obtain RF Safety training?

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About LBA

LBA Group companies serve technical infrastructure needs related to the broadcast, wireless, electromagnetic compatibility and safety sectors worldwide. We provide consulting, training and other telecommunications industry services. We also produce and market hardware for radio transmission, RF shielding, safety and testing.

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