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NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health


How Loud Is Too Loud?

It's A Noisy Planet. Protect their Hearing

Protect Your Hearing

Know which noises can cause damage. Wear earplugs when you are involved in a loud activity. Sponsored by the NIDCD, It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing aims to increase awareness among parents of children ages 8 to 12 about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.

110 Decibels

Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss.

100 Decibels

No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure recommended.

85 Decibels

Prolonged exposure to any noise at or above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.

Get sound advice.

For more information, visit

150 Firecracker

120 Ambulance siren

110 Chain saw, rock concert

105 Personal stereo system at maximum level

100 Wood shop, snowmobile

95 Motorcycle

90 Power mower

85 Heavy city traffic

60 Normal conversation

40 Refrigerator humming

30 Whispered voice

Fall 2008 Issue: Volume 3 Number 4 Page 16