Posted by & filed under Audiology, Hearing Loss, Industry News.

Ambient Noise in the Office

Ambient Noise and Noise Pollution can lead to Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)


A while back, we wrote an article on noise pollution, and how people living in urban areas are far more at risk to Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), due to high levels of ambient noise, than those living in rural areas.

We highlighted which cities were the loudest, the reasons why, and even found that in some of the loudest cities, people were on average, 10 years older (in terms of hearing ability)!

The question remains though, what is causing all this ambient noise?

Our Results

We’ve put together a chart of various appliances that you’d find in everyday life, going from least to most noisy!

Ambient Noise Chart, Showing noise levels from house hold objects in decibel ( dB)


80dB is considered the “safe limit” on noise exposure. Anything 85dB or above will damage your hearing, and the louder the sound, the less time you can spend exposed to it before your hearing gets permanently damaged.

So as you can see, prolonged exposure to things such as vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, motorcycles and chainsaws will damage your hearing.

Poppy Elliot, managing director of a charity called Quiet Mark, explains: “We are not always fully aware of how much noise affects us on a daily basis, and we usually only appreciate the difference when those sound disturbances are removed” He goes on “Reducing unnecessary noise from appliances and technology that surround us significantly supports our health and well-being.” This was in an article published by the Daily Mail.

There is little we can do to reduce the actual output sound of most of these appliances, however changes to our homes can significantly reduce the overall volume in the house.

For example, a carpeted room absorbs much more sound than one of wooden flooring, which is why the latter often seem louder and more reverberant.

Find out more about hearing protection here!