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Pollution is a major problem when riding recreational vehicles at hwy. speeds.
  • CAUSE: Wind Noise and engine noise.
  • The average sound level in helmets is 100 decibels at 65 mph.
  • THE OLD SOLUTION: "Grin and bear it and enjoy your ride" or wear ear plugs.
  • NEW SOLUTION: Install Quiet Ride Ear Noise Reduction Muffs in your helmet.


- World Health Organization -

Noise Dose Chart: Noise Exposure Limits

The risk to your hearing from noise exposure depends on how loud it is and how long you're exposed to it.
This noise dose chart shows the acceptable safety limits.


One way that noise can permanently damage your hearing is by a single brief exposure to a high noise level, such as a firecracker going off near your ear. But hearing damage can also occur gradually at much lower levels of noise, if there is enough exposure over time. To protect your hearing, you will want to limit your exposure to these moderately high noise levels as well, and give your ears a chance to recover after any period of noise exposure.
For example:
  • At 91 decibels, your ears can tolerate up to two hours of exposure.
  • At 100 decibels, damage can occur with 15 minutes of exposure.
  • At 112 decibels, damage can occur with only one minure of exposure.
  • At 140 decibels, immediate nerve damage can occur.

Firearms, firecrackers, and jet engines taking off are all louder that 140 dB. If you find yourself near any of these without hearing protection, use your fingers and plug your ears! And at the same time, move away from the noise - even a few extra feet can reduce the loudness significantly.

Noise Dose Formula

The generally accepted standard to minimize hearing risk is based on an exposure to 85 dB for a maximum limit of eight hours per day, followed by at least ten hours of recovery time at 70 dB or lower (at which the risk of harm to healthy ears is negligible). Then a "3 dB exchange rate" formula is applied, which means that for every 3 dB above 85 dB, the maximum exposure time is cut in half.

Maximum Recommended Noise Dose Exposure Levels

Noise Level (dBA) Maximum Exposure Time per 24 Hours
858 hours
912 hours
941 hours
9730 minutes
10015 minutes
1037.5 minutes

Click here for an explanation of dBA, dB, and other sound units.

Using the Chart

Each line by itself represents 100% of the allowable noise dose per 24-hour day. In other words, if you've already experienced 15 minutes at 100 dBA, "you're done for the day", and the remainder of your 24-hour period should have NO exposure above 85 dBA, and preferably should be below 70 dBA.

Protecting Your Hearing

Because different people's ears differ in their degree of vulnerability to noise, noise exposure levels that are well tolerated by some people, may cause harm in others. If after you've been exposed to noise your ears have a rushing, roaring, or ringing sensation, or you notice that ordinary sounds seem muffled or quieter than normal, you know now that the level of noise is damaging and hearing protection is needed in that situation in the future. If this happens to you, rest your ears (which means no noise above 70 dBA) for 24 hours.

Be aware: Your ears aren't able to "get used to" noise levels. If a certain noise level doesn't seem to bother you as much as it did before, it's not because your ears have toughened up to it; it's because you've lost some of your hearing. In this case, it's all the more critical to protect the hearing you have left.

Wind Noise Charts



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