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In this paper, maximum specific absorption rate (SAR) estimation formulas for RF main beam exposure from mobile communication base station antennas are proposed. The formulas, given for both whole-body SAR and localized SAR, are heuristic in nature and valid for a class of common base station antennas. The formulas were developed based on a number of physical observations and are supported by results from an extensive literature survey together with supplementary measurements and numerical simulations of typical exposure situations. Using exposure limits, the proposed SAR estimation formulas can be converted to formulas for estimating compliance distance.