|150||Gun shot, fireworks blast||Immediate||Shoot|
|130||Sound peak during music concert||Immediate||Music|
|120||Pile-driving machine, hammer drill||Immediate||Work|
|110||Chain saw, power drill, grinder||Almost immediatey||Work|
|100||Drums, club, disco||After 5 minutes||Music|
|95||Wind noise on a motorbike||After 15 minutes||Motorsport|
|92||Small compressor, power drill||After 30 minutes||DIY & Garden|
|89||Lawn mower||After 1 hour||DIY & Garden|
|86||Busy city traffic, passing train||After 2 hours||Travel|
|83||In passenger aeroplane, loud voices||After 4 hours||Travel|
|60/80||Snoring, night time noise||Sleep deprivation||Sleep|
10% of young people between 16 and 30 have permanent hearing damage and the numbers are increasing.
Apart from hearing damage, other health complaints like tinnitus, hypersensitivity to sound, high blood pressure and early age-related hearing difficulties are caused by excessive exposure to loud noise.
Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). At sound levels of 110dB or more, you will risk immediate and permanent hearing damage. At lower sound volumes (80-110dB) the risk to your hearing is dependent on the duration for which you are exposed to the sound.
Note that the dB scale is logarithmic, i.e. an increase of just 3dB results in the effective doubling of the sound strength; this also means that for every increase of 3dB the time it takes to cause permanent hearing damage is halved.
The chart provides some examples of noise levels and the damaging effect they can have at different exposure times.