At what noise level does hearing loss occur?
Both the amount of noise and the length of time you are exposed to the noise determine its ability to damage your hearing. Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. Sounds louder than 80 decibels are considered potentially hazardous. The noise chart below gives an idea of average decibel levels for everyday sounds around you.
- 150 dB = rock music peak
- 140 dB = firearms, air raid siren, jet engine
- 130 dB = jackhammer
- 120 dB = jet plane take-off, amplified rock music at 1-2 m, car stereo, band practice.
- 110 dB = rock music, model airplane
- 106 dB = timpani and bass drum rolls
- 100 dB = snowmobile, chain saw, pneumatic drill
- 90 dB = lawnmower, shop tools, truck traffic, subway
- 80 dB = alarm clock, busy street
- 70 dB = busy traffic, vacuum cleaner
- 60 dB = conversation, dishwasher
- 50 dB = moderate rainfall
- 40 dB = quiet room
- 30 dB = whisper, quiet library
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