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How Loud is Too Loud? Part One: How Loud Noise Affects the Ear and Hearing

Key Points

• Within the inner ear are small hair cells which transmit sound information to the brain. Loud sounds sent through the system can cause these hair cells become damaged and can even die.
• Hazardous noise is defined as that which exceeds 85 dB if an individual is exposed for an 8-hour day.
• Noise-induced hearing loss can present as a decrease in a person’s ability to hear sounds at different frequencies, or as a difficulty understanding in noise.
• If your employees complain about sounds being too loud, have difficulty understanding one another, or complain of diminished hearing at the end of the day, it is time to invest in some noise conservation measures.

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