Exposure to high levels of noise can cause hearing loss. Repeated exposures to such noise (> 85 decibels, like milling machine or food blender) or one-time exposure to very loud sound can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss (read more about safe sound levels).
Noise can also create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries. increased Noisier environments are known to increase healthcare costs.
Noise pollution from motor vehicles is regulated in several countries based on a given decibel level, and also based on the specific pitch or frequency of the given noise. Occupational exposures to noise should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA (85 adjusted decibels, equivalent to moderate home stereo or city traffic heard from inside car) for eight hours. But some noises may cause disturbance at lower sound levels or shorter periods of exposure. Examples of sounds found annoying by many people:
- Vuvuzela, also known as lepatata Mambu and stadium horn - a long plastic horn that produces a loud monotone note, typically around B♭ centimetres (B-flat; also called si bémol), also described as incessant beehive sound.
- Emergency Broadcast System - combination of the sine waves of 853 and 960 Hz, with sound levels usually exceeding ambient noise 6 times. Modern sirens can develop a sound level of up to 135 decibels at 100 feet
- Nails on a Chalkboard - frequency range of around 2,000 to 5,000 Hz, where out ear is most acute
- Car Alarms (500Hz -1000 Hz)
- Dial-Up Modem
- The Hum