Radiofrequency refers to radiation in the 3 kilohertz (kHz) to 300 gigahertz (GHz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The purpose of the radiofrequency (RF) safety program is to educate the Brown community about radiofrequency radiation. The following are sources of radiofrequency that are found on the Brown University campus: WiFi networks, cellular telephones and radio transmitters.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) recommends limits for controlling exposures to radiofrequency fields. The limits are based on a careful review of the research into the health effects of exposure to RF radiation, and include wide margins for safety. The Brown University RF safety program follows these guidelines (limits). 

To learn more about non-ionizing radiation, click the ‘Compliance’ and ‘Resources’ tabs to the left. 

WiFi Network

Brown University uses WiFi (or wireless networking) as a way to connect a computer or other device to a network by using RF radiation. It can also be used for mobile internet access.  WiFi uses low-power radio signals instead of cables.


A cellsite (cellular telephone base station) communicates with a cellphone using radio signals. The radio signals are made up of RF fields.


University issued cellphones connect to a service provider by using RF radiation. The cellphone is a small portable radio transmitter. 

Human exposure to RF emissions from hand-held mobile phones are measured in terms of specific absorption rate (SAR).  The safe limit for a mobile phone user is an SAR of 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg), averaged over one gram of tissue, and compliance with this limit must be demonstrated before Federal Communications Commission approval is granted for marketing of a phone in the United States.