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The loudness of sounds - decibel levels

The chart shows some of the approximate sound levels. You can see that really loud sound scan actually be very dangerous. Loud music played through an earpiece may be a particular problem. The distance from the sound source to your ears is very important. The further away you are the better.

Think about places which are really quiet. Is there always music being played in public places such as shopping precincts, cafes, clubs, discos and restaurants?

Is this a good thing?

Decibel level Typical sound source
150 Danger of skin burning
140 Jet taking off. Permanent hearing damage possible.
130 Jet engine at 30m. Air raid siren. Very loud rock group! Pain.
120 Pneumatic road drill. Jet engine at 150m Damage to hair cells in the inner ear.
110 Car horn at 6m. Pop group at 2m
100 Heavy road traffic.
90 Very loud orchestra. Heavy truck (MOT test 92 decibels at 8m). Underground train
80 Alarm clock. Loud hi-fi.
70 Busy street traffic. Vacuum cleaner. Building noise.
60 Normal conversation at 1m.
50 Quiet street.
40 Quiet radio in a house.
30 Rustle of paper. Tick of watch when held to your ear.
20 Whisper. Quiet country lane.
10 Rustle of leaves in a light breeze.
0 Threshold of hearing.

© Keith Gibbs 2020