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May 21, 2012

Noise Charts as It Relates to Hearing Damage

Fun hearing facts collected from a variety of sources...

Environmental Noise
Weakest sound heard0dB
Whisper Quiet Library at 6'30dB
Normal conversation at 3'60-65dB
Telephone dial tone80dB
City Traffic (inside car)85dB
Train whistle at 500', Truck Traffic90dB
Jackhammer at 50'95dB
Subway train at 200'95dB
Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss90 - 95dB
Hand Drill98dB
Power mower at 3'107dB
Snowmobile, Motorcycle100dB
Power saw at 3'110dB
Sandblasting, Loud Rock Concert115dB
Pain begins125dB
Pneumatic riveter at 4'125dB
Even short term exposure can cause permanent damage - Loudest recommended exposure WITH hearing protection140dB
Jet engine at 100'140dB
12 Gauge Shotgun Blast165dB
Death of hearing tissue180dB
Loudest sound possible194dB



OSHA Daily Permissible Noise Level Exposure
Hours per daySound level
890dB
692dB
495dB
397dB
2100dB
1.5102dB
1105dB
.5110dB
.25 or less115dB


Perceptions of Increases in Decibel Level
Imperceptible Change1dB
 Barely Perceptible Change3dB
Clearly Noticeable Change5dB
About Twice as Loud10dB
About Four Times as Loud20dB


Sound Levels Found in Music
Normal piano practice60 -70dB
Fortissimo Singer, 3'70dB
Chamber music, small auditorium75 - 85dB
Piano Fortissimo84 - 103dB
Violin82 - 92dB
Cello85 -111dB
Oboe95-112dB
Flute 92 -103dB
Piccolo90 -106dB
Clarinet85 - 114dB
French horn90 - 106dB
Trombone85 - 114dB
Tympani and bass drum106dB
Walkman on 5/1094dB
Symphonic music peak120 - 137dB
Amplifier, rock, 4-6'120dB
Rock music peak150dB



Sources:
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Binge Listening: Is exposure to leisure noise causing hearing loss in young Australians? [pdf] – Australian Hearing, National Acoustic Laboratories

Occupational Noise Exposure. OSHA


Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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