GL-08 — Guidelines for the Preparation of Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure Compliance Reports for Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems

Issue 1
November 2010

Preface

Issue 1 of GL-08 is hereby released.

These technical guidelines provide the key parameters required in radio frequency (RF) exposure reports prepared by proponents and/or operators of radiocommunication or broadcasting installations.

Issued under the authority of
the Minister of Industry

___________________________________
MARC DUPUIS
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch


Contents


1. Background

As outlined in Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, it is the responsibility of proponents and operators of radiocommunication and broadcasting installations to ensure that their facilities comply with Health Canada's Safety Code 6 Footnote 1 at all times, taking into consideration the local radio environment. Compliance with Safety Code 6 is an ongoing obligation. Therefore, at any time, antenna system operators may be required to provide a copy of their radio frequency (RF) exposure compliance reports Footnote 2 to Industry Canada as proof of ongoing compliance. Proponents and operators of existing antenna systems must retain copies of all information related to Safety Code 6 compliance, such as analyses and measurements.

This document provides guidelines to the key parameters required in RF exposure reports prepared by proponents and/or operators of radiocommunication or broadcasting installations. While this document provides guidance, it is the responsibility of the proponents and operators to provide all relevant information to demonstrate compliance with Safety Code 6. For inquiries related to the compliance of a site with Safety Code 6, proponents and/or operators may contact their local Industry Canada office. Footnote 3

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2. Safety Code 6 Evaluation

Compliance with Safety Code 6 can be demonstrated by one or any combination of the following:

  1. providing calculations
  2. measurements
  3. implementing corrective measures

In the case of broadcasting applications, even though the following explanations and the models described in Section 3 remain valid, proponents and/or operators shall verify the specific requirements for demonstrating compliance with Safety Code 6 as outlined in Broadcasting Procedures and Rules-1 (BPR-1) — General Rules.

If calculations are used to show compliance, the mathematical prediction models should be included in the RF exposure report. In the case of computational evaluations, a description of the software should also be provided. Figure(s) (displaying north bearing and scale in the legend indicating distances) clearly identifying Safety Code 6 compliance contours should be provided (see Section 3.3.1). Near and far field considerations should be addressed in the report, as required.

If detailed calculations show that total RF exposure levels in publically accessible areas are equal or greater than 50% of Safety Code 6 uncontrolled environment limits, technical acceptability could be granted on condition that the applicant take measurements Footnote 4 as soon as the proposed facility is built and ready for testing. However, if calculations demonstrate that RF exposure levels exceed the limits for uncontrolled environments in publically accessible areas, then mitigation measures Footnote 5 must be implemented and detailed in the report before the station is made operational.

With respect to field measurements, information such as dates when measurements were taken, weather conditions, and whether transmitters were operating at maximum power at the time of measurement should be noted in the RF exposure evaluation report. In addition, the measurement methodology Footnote 6 used (i.e. time averaging versus spatial averaging) should be described (see Section 3.3.2).

A description of each piece of equipment used for measurement, as well as the uncertainty budget and calibration of each measurement device (e.g. the accuracy of measurements in dB), should be included. The measurement equipment uncertainty must be added to each measurement point, and the combined values shall be compared to Safety Code 6 limits to determine the compliance of the site. Footnote 7 The maximum normalized percentage (%) of the Safety Code 6 limit for uncontrolled environments, as well as their location, should be clearly identified in the report (see Section 3.3.2).

When measurements are used to determine Safety Code 6 compliance, these should be taken immediately after the station is turned on for testing. If the limits for uncontrolled environments are exceeded at locations accessible to the public, mitigating measures must be applied immediately in order to ensure compliance at all times. Footnote 8 All mitigating measures used to ensure compliance with Safety Code 6 should be detailed in the report.

Finally, the RF exposure report should conclude with a clear statement related to the Safety Code 6 compliance of the site (see Annex A for an example of the statement).

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3. Template for RF Exposure Report

This section provides a template of the key parameters that should be included in the RF exposure report.

3.1 Title Page

The title page should contain the company name, site name where the antenna system is located, name(s) of person(s) conducting the RF exposure compliance study including title and signature, and date on which the report was signed.

3.2 Description of Site and Proposed Installation

The RF exposure report should contain general information on the site such as the site name, address and coordinates. A description of the site location and antenna structure, as well as a summary of the proposed installation, should also be included
(see Tables 1, 2 and 3).

A description, including calculations and/or measurements, of all publically accessible locations of interest (e.g. balconies, viewing points, observation deck, parking lots, etc.) in the vicinity of the proposed antenna site where the general public may be exposed to higher levels of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) should also be included in the report.

The RF exposure report should contain an elevation plan or sketch showing the location of all antenna systems at the proposed site, and the location of signage and access control mechanisms such as locked doors and fences. Rooftop sites should include a site plan clearly identifying access to the rooftop and showing the location of each transmit antenna on the rooftop.

Table 1: General Information on the Site
General Information
Site name:  
Address:  
Site Coordinates:
LAT/LONG
(NAD83/DDDMMSS.s Footnote 9)
 
Date:  

 

Table 2: Description of the Site Location
Site Description
New radiocommunication / broadcasting antenna-supporting structure YES / NO
Is structure shared? (if yes, list other users) YES / NO
Structure type (e.g. rooftop, water tower, monopole, mast, lattice tower, etc.)  
Owner of the structure  
Overall Height of the antenna-supporting structure from the ground level (m) (and above rooftop if applicable (m))  
Objects (e.g. reflectors or scatterers) in the vicinity of the proposed site that may affect the RF field strength  

 

Table 3: Summary of the parameters of the proposed installation
Parameters
Type of service currently at the site (e.g. TV, AM, FM radio, mobile, cellular, PCS, 3G, 4G, paging, etc.), including technology used (e.g. ATSC, NTSC, UMTS, CDMA, HSPA)  
Proposed services  
Number of Sector(s)  
Frequency band (MHz) (e.g. 825-890 MHz, 1850-1990 MHz, 2120-2130 MHz)  
Antenna model / manufacturer and description (i.e. overall dimension, number of bays, spacing between radiating elements, gain)  
Antenna patterns (details regarding vertical and horizontal radiation patterns) for each sector  
Height (m) above ground and / or roof top to the radiating center of the antenna  
Azimuth (degrees) for each sector  
Downtilt (electrical) for each sector  
Downtilt (mechanical) for each sector  
Transmitter power (Watts or dBW)  
Maximum EIRP (Watts or dBW) (specify if per sector, per channel and / or per polarization)  
Number of channels per antenna (if more than one) per frequency band per technology  
Polarization (e.g. horizontal, vertical, circular, elliptical)  
Antenna displacement from site coordinates in Table 1 (must indicate the number of metres north or south, number of metres east or west)  

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3.3 Safety Code 6 Assessment

3.3.1 Detailed Calculations

If detailed calculations are used to demonstrate compliance, the following should be included:

  • description of mathematical prediction models used for calculations;
  • description of software (if any);
  • discussion on near field and far field, as needed;
  • technical description of RF installations Footnote 10 considered in calculations (using Table 3 format for each installation);
  • field levels should be determined at 2 metres above ground, structure floor, or rooftop level;
  • site plan clearly identifying any publically accessible areas (rooftop sites should identify rooftop access point and show location of each transmit antenna); and
  • north bearing and scale in legend for figures displaying compliance contours;
  • for two or three dimension simulations, the following parameters are recommended:
    • two or three dimensional contours at 1%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the limits for an uncontrolled environment in Safety Code 6, with distance grids in metres and originating point (0, 0, 0) Footnote 11 at the radiation centre of the antenna;
    • two dimensional plots should include a horizontal view at 2 metres above any roof or ground level, or a vertical view that clearly specifies the azimuth of the view; and
    • generic ground plane image area of 400 x 400 m or satellite ground plane image of 400 x 400 m.

3.3.2 Measurements

If measurements are used to demonstrate compliance, the following should be included:

  • date and weather conditions;
  • special conditions (e.g. stations not operating at authorized power or temporarily relocated);
  • measurement equipment (description and calibration data);
  • measurement methodology (including consideration to time and spatial averaging and near field environment);
  • uncertainty budget and discussion;
  • site plan showing measurement locations and publically accessible areas (rooftop sites should identify the location of each transmit antenna);
  • table of measured values normalized to percentage of Safety Code 6 limits for uncontrolled environment, with and without equipment uncertainty, at different locations (see Table 4).
Table 4: Examples of measurement values normalized to percentage of Safety Code 6 limit, with and without equipment uncertainty, at different locations identified on plan or sketch
Location Measured value normalized limit for uncontrolled environment (% of SC6) without measurement equipment uncertainty Measured value normalized limit for uncontrolled environment (% of SC6) with measurement equipment uncertainty
     
     

3.3.3 Mitigation and Corrective Measures

In this section, any new temporary or permanent mitigation measures required to ensure ongoing compliance of the proposed installation with Safety Code 6 should be discussed. Formal engagement and implementation schedules should be included. Detailed descriptions of signage and access controls should also be included and located on the plan.

3.4 Safety Code 6 Compliance Statement

A clear compliance statement should conclude every report. Refer to Annex A for an example.

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4. Reference publications

The latest versions of the following publications should be used in conjunction with this guideline.

(1) Broadcasting Procedures and Rules (BPR-1) – General Rules

(2) Client Procedures Circular (CPC-2-0-03) – Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems

(3) Guidelines (GL-01) – Guidelines for the Measurement of Radio Frequency Fields at Frequencies from 3 kHz to 300 GHz

(4) GL-02 - Guidelines for the Protection of the General Public in Compliance with Safety Code 6
Issue 1, October 2005
Replaced March 2013 by CPC-2-0-20 — Radio Frequency (RF) Fields – Signs and Access Control

(5) Health Canada – Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz — Safety Code 6

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Annex A — Example of Declaration of RF Exposure Compliance

ATTESTATION: I attest that the information provided in this section is correct; that a technical report was prepared and information contained therein is correct; that the site evaluation was performed or supervised by me; that applicable measurement methods and evaluation methodologies have been followed; and that the site is in compliance with Safety Code 6 limits.

Signature: _________________________________________ Date: _________________

NAME (Please print or type): _________________________________________________

TITLE (Please print or type): _________________________________________________

COMPANY (Please print or type): ______________________________________________


Footnotes

1 Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz — Safety Code 6

2 As proof of ongoing compliance, RF exposure compliance reports submitted to Industry Canada must reflect the current radio environment of the installation.

3 If you would like to contact Industry Canada's local district offices, consult the following: RIC-66 — Addresses and Telephone Numbers of Regional and District Offices at: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf01742.html

4 See Industry Canada's GL-01, Guidelines for the Measurement of Radio Frequency Fields at Frequencies from 3 kHz to 300 GHz for details on measurements.

5 See Industry Canada's GL-02, Guidelines for the Protection of the General Public in Compliance with Safety Code 6, for details.

6 The surveyor should initially characterize the transmission site with regard to the temporal variation of the RF signals. If the field signal variations are above 20% (or power density 36%), time averaging over 6 minutes is required for the remaining measurements, as specified in Safety Code 6. In locations where the RF signal is close to the Safety Code 6 limit for the uncontrolled environment (e.g. equal or above 50 % of the Safety Code 6 limit for power density, including measurement equipment uncertainty), detailed measurements using temporal and/or spatial averaging are required.

7 If the measured field strength levels plus the manufacturer's specified instrument uncertainty factor exceed the Safety Code 6 limits, corrective remedies must be taken to comply with Code requirements.

8 Industry Canada must be informed immediately in such cases and a close follow-up is required.

9 Seconds are to be represented up to one decimal point.

10 In addition to the RF installations at the site under study, nearby transmitting antennas can also impact the calculations, especially if they are high-power stations. It is important to assess the full radio environment when evaluating Safety Code 6 compliance. Mathematical predictions and field measurements have demonstrated that non-broadcast wireless stations beyond 100 metres have negligible impact on the overall exposure level. Close attention should be given to broadcast stations within 1 km of the proposed site. If it is suspected that there are stations nearby that may impact RF levels at the site under study, these must be taken into account in the detailed calculations. If any antenna systems have been excluded from the calculations, the rationale should be provided.

11 Note that (0,0,0) are the displacements in the x, y, z planes; x (east/west) and y (north/south) are the horizontal displacements and z is the vertical displacement.

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