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In the US, the FCC regulates devices using radio technologies. Manufacturers of these devices, therefore, need FCC certification in order to sell these devices. The FCC has recently announced changes to its RF exposure rules. As a result, unintentional radiators and other devices must meet the new standards.

Major Changes in the new FCC RF Rules

As part of the changes, the FCC has made evaluations mandatory. Under the previous rules, many Part 15/Part 18 devices didn’t fall within the scope of the regulations.

There are exemptions (§ 1.1307(b)(3)(i)(A)) applicable to single RF sources of less than 1mW, such as:

  • Portable devices
  • Mobile devise
  • Single fixed RF source

SAR Based Exemptions

The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) measures the amount of RF energy absorbed. For example, SAR for cell phones measures the RF absorption of the head when someone uses a wireless handset. The FCC limits the SAR to 1.6 W/kg for cell phones. The allowed amounts then vary based on usages and parts of the body impacted.

The SAR based exemption applies thresholds that vary based on the distance from the body and the power of the RF( § 1.1307(b)(3)(i)(B)). The exemptions include frequencies between 300 MHz and 6 GHz. In order to qualify for the exemption, devices must have a separation distance of 0.5 cm – 40 cm. This includes mobile, fixed and portable devices.

An alternative exemption is outlined in § 1.1307(b)(3)(i)(C), which applies to frequency ranges between 300 kHz and 100 GHz. The separation distance calculation for these exemptions is defined by the formula λ/2π. In this case, λ is the operating wavelength measured in meters.

Obtaining Certifications

Manufacturers sometimes go down a long, costly road when it comes to certifying their devices. At Compliance Testing, our experienced testing team makes the process as simple as possible for our clients. Partner with us to open doors for your products to get to market faster and smooth the way to your FCC certification.

Publication KDB 447498 outlines the new rules effective as of April 2022. However, companies will have a grace period of three months to transition to the new rules. It’s important for manufacturers to remain diligent and proactive in terms of complying with the new regulations.

If you have any additional questions regarding the FCC rule changes for RF exposure, feel free to reach out to our team. We specialize in customer education when it comes to rules compliance and will do everything in our power to help you meet the regulations in time for your next product release.

For assistance meeting the regulations in a timely manner, schedule a consultation with Compliance Testing, which specializes in portable devices, including those used in healthcare.