The basic SAR restrictions recommended by ICNIRP for the general public have been set 50 times below the levels at which adverse health effects have been established. The wide safety margin ensures that any increase in body tissue temperature is negligible.
- ICNIRP (1998 p.511, tables 6 and 7; see section 16.2. Reference Levels)
- ICNIRP presentation: EMF Safety Guidelines - The ICNIRP View presented at the ITU Workshop on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields, Turin, 9 May 2013.
For workers, the limits are five times higher than those of the general public. The rationale for having lower limits for the general public is that this group includes children, pregnant women, the elderly and other persons of varying health status or susceptibility, and exposure might be continuous (24 hours a day) and people may be totally unaware of an exposure. The SAR values are to be averaged over any six-minute period of exposure. This averaging period reflects the fact that it takes time for body temperature to rise during exposure to RF fields.