What is a Safe Noise Level
Loudness is measured using the Decibel scale. This is a logarithmic measurement which means that an increase of ten in the Decibel (Db) number reflects a two times increase in the volume of sound.
A normal conversation might take place at 50 Decibels, whereas a hair dryer might be measured at 60 decibels making it twice as loud, and a washing machine running at 70Db is two times louder still.
For most people, the level at which prolonged exposure to noise can cause hearing damage starts at around 85Db – around the noise level of a blender. As you approach much louder noises, the amount of time before hearing can be damaged gets shorter. Above 120Db, sounds can cause temporary hearing loss very quickly.
Hand Dryer Noise Levels
Hand dryers are supplied with technical information that outlines the amount of noise they generate, although over time this can change due to the motor aging, or fan blades becoming damaged.
Most hand dryers on the market generate around 85Db of noise, which in short bursts should not damage hearing, although it is comparable with the noise produced by a train. The Mitsubishi Wave i01 has a noise level of just 59Db in high power mode – less than a typical conversation.