Insulation Innovation Blog

Monitoring Industrial Noise Pollution

Posted by Carly Wiegand on Feb 6, 2018 9:55:00 AM

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Those of us that work in the industrial industry can agree the noise created within the reasonably large facilities can be unbearable. Working in demanding environments that have unpleasant noise can often pose a risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).  The effects can be immediate, or it can take an extensive time for it to be noticeable.

A sounds loudness is measured in decibels (dB). A typical conversation is about 60 dB, any sound above 85 dB is considered harmful. However, that depends on how long and how often you are exposed to the noise.

There are ways to actively monitor the decibels that you are exposed to, one way that is convenient is using your smartphone. We know that it is glued to your hand on a day-to-day basis and that you are constantly checking it for emails, texts, and news feed updates, why not check it for noise levels as well?

To closely monitor the levels of sound you’re exposed to, download the app Decibels X. This app is one of the very few noise meter apps on the market that has extremely reliable, pre-calibrated measurements. It turns your smartphone into a professional sound level meter.

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Below you will find a table that displays the recommended exposure time for certain decibel levels in a 24 hour day, according to NIOSH and CDC. OSHA sets legal limits on noise exposure in the workplace; those limits can be found by clicking here. Note that it is not necessary for every employee to measure workplace noise. Noise monitoring should be conducted only when exposures are above 85 dB or higher during an eight-hour workday.

Continuous dB

Permissible Exposure Time

85 dB

8 Hours

88 dB

4 Hours

91 dB

2 Hours

94 dB

1 Hour

97 dB

30 Minutes

100 dB

15 Minutes

103 dB

7 ½ Minutes

106 dB

3 ¾ Minutes

112 dB

56 Seconds

121 dB

7 Seconds

130-140 dB

Less than one second

By carefully monitoring and reducing the level of noise you’re exposed to in your life can prevent the chances of noise-induced hearing loss and will allow you to be happier and healthier you.

Topics: noise pollution, Decibels, monitoring noise levels, sound

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