Image of Noisy Activities

About the NOISE database

Since 2008, we've been collecting noise measurements, most of which have occurred in Sydney, Australia. With the launch of the online NOISE database, we can now invite other researchers to add their measurements to our collection. 

The main aims of the NOISE database are to:

  • Build a collection of non-occupational activities and events to identify which of these pose a risk to hearing health.
  • Provide reliable average measures for a wide range of leisure activities which can be used to estimate individuals’ noise exposures in the absence of actual noise measurements.

Collection of the NOISE measurements
For each of our measurements, participants wore calibrated CEL-350 dBadge personal sound exposure meters (Casella-CEL, Bedford, United Kingdom). Dosimeters were positioned at the lapel or as near as possible to the ear and participants used their discretion to ensure the dosimeters were unobtrusive so as not to attract attention. The dosimeters logged the average A-weighted sound levels (LAeq) and the maximum C-weighted peak sound level (LCpeak) between 65 and 140 dB at one-minute intervals over the measurement period, in compliance with ISO 1999:2013 (3 dB exchange rate, 85 dB/8 hour criterion level). In most cases, measurements continued for the duration of the activity, with a minimum measurement period of 2 minutes. 

Calculation of noise exposure
For each event in the NOISE database, we have calculated the noise exposure using the following formula (where LAeq is the numerical value of the LAeq for the event).

Exposure = EA,T =  4 x T x 100.1(LAeq-100) Pa2h (Standards Australia, 2005)

The workplace noise limit (also known as the 'acceptable daily exposure' or ADE) of 85 dB over 8 hours is equivalent to 1.01 Pa2h. Similarly, 88 dB over 4 hours = 1.01 Pa2h, 91 dB over 2 hours = 1.01 Pa2h and so on.

‚ÄčContributing your data
If you have collected noise measurements using similar equipment and methods, and your data meet our minimum requirements, we encourage you to add your data to our database. 

Special thanks to Elliott Berger, Rick Neitzel, Chuck Kardous, Seyed Mirbod, De Wet Swanepoel, Annalee Yassi, and the Health & Safety Executive (UK) who have already provided measurements for the NOISE database.


National Acoustics Laboratories
The National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) is the research division of Australian Hearing, a Statutory Authority under the Commonwealth Department of Human Services.
NAL is a world leader in research into hearing assessment, hearing loss prevention and hearing rehabilitation. The research that NAL conducts is critical to helping people lead more fulfilling and productive lives.
For more information, visit the NAL website.