Originally Posted by pbarach
Had your hearing checked recently? I can tell you that I value maintaining my hearing more than following the decisions of a movie-maker or theater owner about how much damaging noise I "should: experience. And yes, people are getting permanent damage to their hearing from those loud rock concerts. OSHA Required Hearing Protection in Factory is 85dB. Sustained Exposure May Cause Hearing Loss is 90dB. Scott Wilkinson measured an average sound level of 94+ dB over the course of this movie.
Like you, I value my hearing far more than what anyone else says I "should" experience, but the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) limits are a bit more complicated than you state here. According to the Occupational Noise Exposure document from OSHA
, that organization's permissible exposure limit is an average of 90 dBA for eight hours. But the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) specifies a limit of 85 dBA for eight hours, and OSHA requires employers to implement a hearing-conservation program when workers are exposed to average noise levels of 85 dBA or higher.
Most of my measurements are taken using dBC weighting, which takes into account low frequencies more than dBA. Some of the metrics generated by my app are in dBZ (flat, no weighting). Measurements in dBC and dBZ are generally about 10 dB higher than dBA, so the measurements I give correspond to numbers about 10 dB lower when expressed in dBA. Thus, my measurements for Star Trek Beyond (and most movies) are actually within the OHSA and NIOSH requirements—plus, the audience's exposure to those levels is "only" for two hours or so, not eight.
That being said, I believe that the OSHA and NIOSH limits are too high for real safety. Of course, I'm not a doctor, but the ENTs and audiologists I've talked with about this tend to agree that repeated exposure to an average level of 85 dBA for two hours can lead to permanent hearing damage over time. Notice I said "repeated exposure"; being exposed to 85 dBA for two hours once might cause temporary ringing in the ears (aka tinnitus) or hearing loss, but doing it repeatedly for years can cause those conditions to become permanent. Add loud rock concerts (which easily reach 100 dBA and more) to that, and permanent damage will become evident much sooner. So my advice is, protect what you have, because once it's gone, it's gone for good.