Safe Exposure Times

How Loud and How Long

One way that noise can permanently damage your hearing is by a single brief exposure to a high noise level, such as a firecracker going off near your ear. But hearing damage can also occur gradually at much lower levels of noise, if there is enough exposure over time. To protect your hearing, you'll want to limit your exposure to these moderately high noise levels and give your ears a chance to recover after any period of noise exposure.

Safe Exposure Times

Exposure Time dB Sound
Instantaneous permanent damage 140+ Shotgun, rifle, jetplane takeoff
Less than one second 130 jackhammer, heavy industry
Less than ten seconds
Threshold of pain
120 Rock concert
1.5 minutes 110 Power tools, snowmobile
15 minutes 100 Chainsaw, motorcycle
2.5 hours 90 Lawn mower
8 hours 85 Beginning of Danger Zone
Prolonged exposure to noise levels 85dB and higher can result in permanent hearing loss. 80 City Traffic
70 Vacuum cleaner, hair dryer
60 Office, sewing machine
50 Normal conversation
40 Refrigerator
30 Whisper
20 Rustling leaves
Common noise levels (dB), and their effect upon hearing. 10 Breathing
0 Threshold of normal hearing


Safety Notice

This product is designed for people with normal hearing only! The purpose of hearing protection is to reduce the impact of the sound and to reduce the potential for hearing loss. Hearing protection devices, including DefendEar products, do not eliminate sound. The user is responsible for determining whether the noise reduction provided by DefendEar products will provide adequate hearing protection based on the user’s unique medical history and exposure level. Your medical history, particularly any prior trauma to the ear or prior hearing loss, as well as the noise (decibel level and exposure time) the user will be exposed to should be considered prior to using DefendEar products. If you have any questions concerning the appropriate exposure levels or the level of hearing protection provided by DefendEar products, or if you have hearing loss or ear injuries, contact your local hearing professional before using.