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Do not over attenuate

It’s important to choose the right hearing protector for the right noise situation. A common error is to over-attenuate, or chose a hearing protector that is stronger than necessary. There is a risk that the user will remove the hearing protector while talking to colleagues and thereby suffer from hearing loss.

But how much should a hearing protector attenuate? The principle is simple – take the A-weighted sound level at the workplace and subtract the hearing protector’s stated attenuation level for that type of noise. With the right hearing protector, the result should be between 75 and 80 dB A-weighted sound level.

Your choice of hearing protector is individual. Choosing your own is the best guarantee for frequent use. As long as the hearing protector meets safety requirements, the user should make the final choice.

In a way, noise can be compared to radioactivity: We can only stand a limited dose. How harmful the noise is depends on the exposure time combined with the sound level. Just five minutes of hazardous noise exposure a day can cause lifelong hearing impairment. That's why 100 % usage is critical to get the protection the chosen hearing protector can provide. Choose a comfortable hearing protector that suits you and your needs.


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Magnus Johansson, Peltor AB


  How does sound occur
  The auditory system 
  The outer ear 
  The middle ear
  The inner ear
  Exposure to noise 
  Hearing impairment
  The concept of equal energy
  How to measure noise levels
  Choose right hearing protection
  Do not over attenuate
  Noise regulations