By Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk
Unlike a chance encounter with a blade or bit, the gradual and cumulative damage to hearing caused by loud noise makes this injury downright sneaky, but just as permanent. Prolonged exposure to noise over 85 decibels (dB)—about the level of a typical shop vac—can damage the hair cells that transmit vibrations to the nerve fibers within the ear. First, you’ll think you’ve “grown used” to a noise, and perhaps stop protecting your ears when you should be. But this only accelerates loss. By the time you notice the loss outside of the shop, it’s too late. Lucky for us, woodworking isn’t the only activity that is hazardous to your hearing health. The business of protecting people from life’s various booms, roars, and crashes has resulted in an array of comfortable and affordable hearing protection options. If you’re tired of removing and reinserting foam plugs, or if your muffs are cracked and stiff, now’s the time to step up. Added comfort and convenience ensures that you’ll put these new products on when you don’t need them so that you’re wearing them for all of the times when you do.
How loud is too loud?
Sound is measured in decibels (dB). Louder sounds max out safe exposure limits, but long-term exposure to lower levels can be equally damaging. To be safe, you should don protection when approaching the 85dB danger zone.
World’s first Bluetooth Earplug Headphones
Wireless earphones have become a ubiquitous smartphone accessory. IsoTunes Pro look and function like the same versions that the hipsters use—you can listen to music and answer calls—but they also provide hearing protection equal to plugs.
An additional safety benefit is that there are no wires to dangle near machines.
Iso’s don’t offer the sound quality found in regular buds, but that’s not what they’re supposed to do. (In order to be OSHA-compliant, the volume level tops out at 85dB.) Another plus: the passive-protection plugs still work when the battery’s dead.
ISOTunes Pro Bluetooth Hearing Buds