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Guide

Human Exposure to RF Fields From Mobile (Vehicle-Mounted) Antennas

Background

Vehicle-mounted antennas used for wireless communications normally operate at a power level of three watts or less. These wireless antennas are typically mounted on the roof, trunk or rear window of a car or truck.

Results of Studies

Studies show that, in order to be exposed to RF levels that approach the safety limits adopted by the FCC, it would be necessary to remain very close to a vehicle-mounted wireless antenna for a significant amount of time. Studies have also shown that the metal body of the vehicle can effectively shield occupants. Proper installation of a vehicle-mounted antenna to maximize this shielding effect is a good way to minimize exposure. Some companies recommend that antennas be installed either in the center of the roof or center of the trunk of a vehicle. In response to concerns expressed over the commonly used rear-window mounted wireless antennas, a minimum separation distance of 1-2 feet has been suggested as a way to minimize exposure to vehicle occupants.

Conclusions/Recommendations

From data gathered to date, properly-installed, vehicle-mounted, personal wireless antennas using up to three watts of power result in maximum exposure levels in or near the vehicle that are typically well below the FCC’s safety limits, assuming that the transmitting antenna is 6 inches or more from vehicle occupants.

For More Information

For more information on this issue, visit the FCC’s RF Safety website. For information about other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

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Human Exposure to RF Fields From Mobile Antennas Guide (pdf)

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