Agent Name


Major Category



Other Physical Agents


Noise is the major risk factor for occupational hearing loss. Approximately 30 million US workers are exposed to hazardous noise every year. [PMID 18259983] Most workers exposed to hazardous noise are employed in the manufacturing industries. More than 1/2 of workers in textiles, lumber and wood, and mining are exposed to excess noise. [Wald, p. 279]


Noise is measured in three main ways: frequency, intensity, and duration. Frequency is measured in cycles per second or hertz (Hz). Humans hear best at 1000 to 5000 Hz. A decibel (dB) is a measure of relative loudness on a logarithmic scale. Workers with daily exposures >85 dB as an 8-hour time weighted average must be covered by a hearing conservation program. [Wald, p. 279-81] The OSHA standard limits workers' exposure to noise: 90 dB (equivalent to the noise of a lawnmower) for 8 hours; 95 dB for 4 hours; 100 dB for 2 hours; [UpToDate]

Reference Link

The global burden of occupational noise-induced... [Am J Ind Med. 2005] - PubMed - NCBI

Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information


Related Information in HazMap

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:


Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: