Protect Your Hearing

These are the conclusions of the World Health Organization which recently analyzed data from various studies conducted in mid- to high-income countries. The conclusion: nearly 50% of 12- to 35-year-olds “are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices, and around 40% are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues.”

So how loud is too loud? Noise levels are measured in something called decibels, dB for short, and:

  1. Regular exposure of more than one minute at or above 110 decibels risks permanent hearing loss.
  2. No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure at or above 100 decibels is recommended.
  3. Prolonged exposure to any noise at or above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.

Use this National Institute of Health’s “It’s a Noisy Planet” guide to keep you in the know:

  • 140-165 ~ Firecracker, shotgun firing
  • 140 ~ Jet taking off
  • 120 ~ Ambulance siren
  • 110 ~ Rock concert, symphony orchestra
  • 105 ~ Personal stereo at maximum level
  • 100 ~ Woodshop, snowmobile
  • 90 ~ Power mower
  • 85 ~ Heavy traffic, school cafeteria
  • 75 ~ Dishwasher
  • 60 ~ Normal conversation
  • 40 ~ Refrigerator
  • 30 ~ Whisper