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How loud is too loud?

Posted by Tom Peary on Feb 20, 2021 12:00:00 AM | Acoustic Barriers|Background Related

Noise is a constant part of our lives but constant exposure to loud noises can be dangerous to our health. But how do we know when the sound levels become too high?
Here we explain just how loud common sounds can be and at what level it can begin to cause damage.

Over time, sounds of more than 85 decibels (dB) can cause damage to your hearing – according to Action on Hearing Loss. To put things into perspective, 85 decibels is an equivalent to a food blender and heavy traffic has the decibel equivalent of 95dB.
This means that, for people who live in a city or a near a busy road, daily exposure to a dangerous level of noise is inevitable. The world is definitely getting noisier and the amount of people suffering from problems in relation to too much exposure to loud noises has risen. For example, according to the British Society of Audiology, 1 in 10 of the UK population are affected by tinnitus sand 80% of those with the condition also have some form of hearing loss. In addition to hearing problems, exposure to loud noises can also lead to other health issues like stress, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and other cardiovascular disease.
So why aren’t people more concerned about noise pollution?

The facts
The sound of a dog’s bark is usually a minimum of 60 decibels and fireworks often exceed 150 decibels. When taking off, an aircraft can reach 180 decibels and even a noisy office can reach 90. This proves that many sounds that we don’t even think about – like the hustle and bustle of the office mid-morning – can be slowly impacting our health.

Keep the noise down!
Music is one of the worst offenders of noise pollution. The use of headphones may be advertised as a great way of blocking out sounds on your morning commute, but they can also be detrimental to your ears. In fact, Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing has recently told how he has been struck with tinnitus and he blames having his music too loud and spending too much time in nightclubs as the cause.
So, without trying to sound like a nagging parent, turning the volume down is very important. Have a read of our blog about noise pollution for more examples of sounds and their decibel equivalent: https://www.echobarrier.co.uk/what-is-noise-pollution/

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