How Loud Is Too Loud?

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) notes that exposure of just one minute to sounds of 110 decibels or higher can damage your hearing. No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure is recommended for noises of 100 decibels, as well as several hours exposure to noises of 90 decibels or higher. Here’s the decibel level of some common noises:

140 decibels: rock concerts, firecrackers

120 decibels: boom cars, snowmobiles

110 decibels: chain saw

100 decibels: woodshop

90 decibels: lawn mower, motorcycle

80 decibels: city traffic noise

60 decibels: normal conversation

40 decibels: refrigerator humming

20 decibels: whispered voice

0 decibels: threshold of normal hearing

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