Noise Exposure that can Ultimately Lead to Hearing Damage

There are a few common misconceptions about how susceptible we are to hearing loss. We experience pain at about 120dB (ambulance siren, jet plane take-off) to 140dB SPL (firearms, jet engine), which is a level much higher than can cause irreparable damage to your hearing. The threshold for damage cause by sound is 85dB SPL (Sound Pressure Level) or higher for an 8hr period. What’s more, there is no law that protects the general public from hazardous sound levels, save for in the workplace. However, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) as well as ANSI (American National Standards Institute) have set standards for the amount of time one is exposed to certain noise levels. Naturally, the louder the sound is, the shorter the safe daily exposure time.

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