Decibel (DB) Comparisons

Common Sounds

This is a tabular comparison of some common sounds based on decibel (dBA) values to show their ranks in terms of potential harm to hearing. The objective behind this comparison is to analyze the condition of the workers who are usually exposed to dangerous noise levels of some massive industries such as construction, lumber, mining, steel, and textile industries.
Jet Engines (Near)140 
Shotgun Firing130 
Jet Takeoff (100-200 Ft.)130 
Rock Concert (Varies)110-140Threshold of pain (125 dB)
Oxygen Torch121 
Disco/Boom Box120Threshold of sensation (120 dB)
Thunderclap (Near)120 
Stereo (Over 100 Watts)110-125 
Symphony Orchestra110Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss (over 100 dB)
Power Saw (Chain Saw)110
Jet Fly-over (1000 Ft.)103 
Electric Furnace Area100No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure recommended (90-100 dB)
Garbage Truck/Cement Mixer100
Farm Tractor98
Newspaper Press97 
Subway, Motorcycle (25 Ft)88
Very annoying
Lawnmower, Food Blender85-90Level at which hearing damage begins after 8 hours (85dB)
Recreational Vehicles, TV70-90 
Diesel Truck (40 Mph, 50 Ft.)84 
Average City Traffic Noise80Annoying; interferes with conversation; constant exposure may cause damage
Garbage Disposal80
Washing Machine78 
Vacuum Cleaner70Intrusive; interferes with telephone conversation
Hair Dryer70
Normal Conversation50-65 
Quiet Office50-60Comfortable (under 60 dB)
Refrigerator Humming40 
Whisper30Very quiet
Broadcasting Studio30 
Rustling Leaves20Just audible
Normal Breathing10 
 0Threshold of normal hearing (1000-4000 Hz)
The ear has different sensitivities to different frequencies. That’s why sound level meter circuits have weighing or attenuating filters to simulate the ear’s response. Though a noise level meter can instantly measure the present noise, it cannot measure the duration of the exposure. A “Dosimeter” or an integrated sound level meter must be used to measure the amount of noise a person is exposed to. The American Medical Association and the Canadian Hearing Society of Ontario are the greatest names among the sources of the above information. The Decibel table is developed by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892. January 1990.

Request Service

Are you new or existing customer