EMF Policy

Government policies for electromagnetic fields should be evidence-based, harmonised internationally and draw on the recommendations by expert bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Both these organisations recommend the human exposure guidelines developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The ICNIRP guidelines are designed to provide protection to all people (including children) against all established health hazards.

Compliance standards describe the methods used to determine that exposures from wireless network antennas or mobile devices are less than the recommended exposure limits. The international compliance standards for base stations and mobile phones are IEC62232 and IEC62209, respectively.

Further detail on European EMF and antenna siting policies is available here.

DEVICE LIMITS

This map shows the effective radiofrequency exposure limits applicable to mobile phones and similar devices. Limits are specified in terms of Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The international recommended SAR limit for the public is 2 W/kg measured in a mass of 10 g. Globally, 156 countries apply the international limit (ICNIRP 1998 or ICNIRP 2020) and 19 use the FCC 1996 limits. Some countries (for example, Canada, combine ICNIRP and FCC limits). Two countries appear to retain the power density limits of the former Soviet Union but it is unclear whether these are applied in practice.

Select the country for the specific RF limit information.

Note: Information from public sources except where indicated.

Last updated: 23 March 2021

NETWORK LIMITS

This map shows the effective radiofrequency exposure limits applicable to mobile network antennas. The WHO recommends the adoption of the international exposure guidelines developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Globally, 135 countries apply the international limit (ICNIRP 1998 or ICNIRP 2020), 11 follow the FCC 1996 limits, and 37 have other limits. While the map uses only one colour for the ‘other’ category, there are many differences between these countries in the limit values and their application. Such arbitrary limits may impact mobile network deployment. Operators typically apply the ICNIRP limit where no country regulations exist.

Select the country for the specific RF limit information.

Note: Information from public sources except where indicated.

Last updated: 23 March 2021