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How loud is too loud?

A recent NIOSH Science Blog post described noise exposure tolerance level, and the description is easy to understand and can be applied to everyday life.

According to NIOSH Science Blog,

  • Noise around 85 decibels (dBA) – which is loud enough that you must raise your voice to be heard by someone three feet away (arm’s length) – can damage your hearing after repeated exposures lasting 8 hours or more. Equipment, like printing presses and lawn mowers, and activities like vacuuming, or using earbuds or headphones with the volume set around 70%, all average about 85-90 dBA.

  • When noise reaches 95 dBA – which is loud enough that you must shout to be heard by someone at arm’s length – it can put your hearing at risk in less than an hour. Bulldozers, ambulance sirens, chain saws, bars/nightclubs and large sporting events are all louder than 95 dBA.

From 'Workplace Noise: More than just “All Ears”' Posted on June 28, 2018 by Ellen Kerns, MPH, CPH, COHC and Elizabeth Masterson, PhD, CPH, COHC.


We recommend that you visit the post, and you can find more information about noise-induced health effects such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

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