DC Nightlife Noise

Noise/sound levels

 Decibel level     What we hear
10 dB     Normal breathing
20 dB     Rustling leaves, mosquito
30 dB     Whisper
40 dB     Stream, refrigerator humming
50-60 dB     Quiet office
50-65 dB     Normal conversation
60-65 dB     Laughter
70 dB     Vacuum cleaner, hair dryer
75 dB     Dishwasher
78 dB     Washing machine
80 dB     Garbage disposal, city traffic noise
Prolonged exposure to any noise above 85 dB can cause gradual hearing loss.
84 dB     Diesel truck
70-90 dB     Recreational vehicle
88 dB     Subway, motorcycle
85-90 dB     Lawnmower
100 dB     Train, garbage truck
97 dB     Newspaper press
98 dB     Farm tractor
Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss.
103 dB     Jet flyover at 100 feet
105 dB     Snowmobile
110 dB     Jackhammer, power saw, symphony orchestra
120 dB     Thunderclap, discotheque/boom box
110-125 dB     Stereo
110-140 dB     Rock concerts
130 dB     Jet takeoff, shotgun firing
145 dB     Boom cars

For more information about noise-induced hearing loss, contact:

NIDCD Information Clearinghouse
1 Communication Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20892-3456
Phone: 1-800-241-1044
TTY: 1-800-241-1055