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Dosimeters

            

Dosimeters are used to measure a person's exposure to noise. Dose, the metric used for dosimetry, rates the exposure to noise in a workplace and is expressed as a percentage of the maximum permitted by regulations.

The exchange rate and criterion sound level are key factors in calculating noise dose.

The exchange rate is the increase or decrease in noise levels as expressed in dB which warrants a doubling or halving of the noise dose.

The Criterion Sound Level is the 8-hour average level, in dB, that equals a 100% noise dose.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) sets the Criterion Sound Level at 90 dB with a 5 dB exchange rate as shown in the table below. This means that a worker may be exposed to 90 dB average noise for a total of 8 hours without exceeding 100% noise dose and being overexposed to noise. When a worker’s exposure to noise above the 80 dB threshold level is reduced down to 4 hours, the averaged noise level is raised by the 5 dB exchange rate up to 95 dB.

 

Duration per day, Hours

Sound Level, dB

8

90

6

92

4

95

3

97

2

100

1 ½

102

1

105

½

110

¼ or less

115

 

 

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Dosimeters