A friend of ours here at SafetyGlassesUSA.com recently went to the shooting range for the first time. She was lucky enough to have the safety enthusiasts on staff here tell her exactly what she needs to outfit herself in to stay safe – ballistic eyewear, shooting gloves, and of course, Shooting Earmuffs, particularly our Electronic Earmuffs. She asked us how many decibels a gunshot is, and it brought to our attention that although this is common knowledge to us, many of us who are not around safety gear 24/7 may underestimate their need for hearing protection while performing certain activities. Well, you know us! We’re here to change all that.
Hearing Loss – Not Just For The Old.
Many of us expect to gradually begin losing our hearing as we age, but being exposed to loud noise can cause it, too. Here’s just a snapshot of the real life hearing loss injuries that can occur, in both the young and old:
- 15% of Americans ages 20-69 have some degree of hearing loss due to loud sounds or noise, in both work and regular activities, according to National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
- 4,000 new cases of sudden deafness occur every year.
- 1 in 5 Americans have hearing loss in at least one of their ears, according to the Hearing Health Foundation.
Understanding Decibel Levels
Think you can grab a pair of earmuffs off the shelves at your local hardware store and expect them to protect your ears on the shooting range? Not so fast. Many low-cost earmuffs only protect up to 32 to 60 decibels, which is the equivalent of normal conversation – not the 155 dB that a shotgun produces, on average. Our earmuffs – including our Electronic Earmuffs and Shooting Earmuffs, offer varying sound protection ranges (check the item description), with many featuring technology that reduces the external noise to a safe hearing range.
Here’s what you need to know:
Decibel level where prolonged exposure can cause hearing loss:
- Telephone Dial Tone, Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal: 80 dB
- Train whistle from 500 ft, Subway from 200 ft: 90-95 dB
- Motorcycle, Rock Concert: 100-115dB
Decibel level where pain starts:
- Power Lawn Mower, Garbage Truck, Jet Flyover at 1,000 ft: 100 dB
Decibel level where even short exposure can cause hearing loss:
- Thunderclap, Chain Saw: 120 dB
- Jet engine from 100 feet, 12-gauge shotgun: 150 dB
It’s vital that we all understand how noise exposure, even in everyday tasks like cutting the grass or hearing the roar of the subway as it glides into station, can affect our hearing. Be mindful of the decibel level protection that you need, and choose noise reducing earmuffs that suit your hearing protection needs.