Sounds & Hearing Damage
Northwest Audiology & Hearing Aid Center

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Typical Sounds & Their Decibel Levels

Sound   Noise Level (dB) Effect
Boom Cars 145
Jet Engines (Near) 140
Shotgun Firing 130
Jet Takeoff (100-200 ft.) 130
Rock Concerts (Varies)   110-140   Threshold of pain (125 dB)  
Oxygen Torch 121
Discotheque/Boom Box 120 Threshold of sensation (120 dB)
Thunderclap (Near) 120
Stereos (Over 100 Watts) 110-125
Symphony Orchestra 110
Power Saw (Chain Saw) 110 Regular exposure of more than 1 min.
Pneumatic Drill/Jackhammer 110 risks permanent hearing loss (over 100 dB)
Snowmobile 105
Jet Flyover (1000 ft.) 103
Electric Furnace Area 100
Garbage Truck/Cement Mixer 100
Farm Tractor 98
Newspaper Press 97
Subway, Motorcycle (25 ft.) 88 Very annoying
Lawnmower, Food Blender 85-90 Level at which hearing damage (8 hrs.)
Recreational Vehicles, TV   70-90   begins (85 dB)    
Diesel Truck (40 mph, 50 ft.) 84
Average City Traffic Noise 81 Annoying; interferes with conversation; constant
Garbage Disposal 80 exposure may cause damage
Washing Machine 78
Dishwasher 15
Vacuum Cleaner, Hair Dryer 70 Intrusive; interferes with telephone conversation
Normal Conversation 50-65
Quiet Office 50-60 Comfortable (under 60 dB)
Refrigerator Humming 40
Whisper     30 Very quiet
Broadcast Studio 20
Rustling Leaves 10 Just audible
Normal Breathing 0 Threshold of normal hearing (1000-4000 Hz)

Northwest Audiology & Hearing Aid Center * 601 North Main Street Suite 1 * Ellensburg * WA * 98926
(509)962-9575