Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Measuring noise

Hi Stephen,

> from the speaker.  What matters is what it measures at my ear and distance
B> be damned.

  There are two main issues at hand and we are mixing them up. Noise from 
the perspective of the listener and noise ratings of products/commodities 
by the manufacturer.
  Certainly no one would argue that as individuals being impacted by 
noise, the only measurement that really matters is that at the listener's 
ear. In this case, you are correct, distance does not have to be measured 
or taken into account. 
  When we talk of conversation registering 60 dB we _assume that the 
person taking the reading is holding the meter close to the ear of the 
listener _and that the conversation is being held in a "normal" fashion 
with the individuals a few feet apart. Similarly for a whisper 
registering 30 dB. 
  Now how do we interpret "traffic at 80 dB"? People listen to traffic 
from their homes/offices, from their cars, outside as pedestrians 10, 50, 
100, 200 or more feet away. In this case stating that traffic is 80 dB is 
quite meaningless without mentioning a specific distance.
  "Conversation" implies a certain distance, "traffic" does not.

 Concerning the second issue; noise ratings of products/commodities by the 
manufacturer, it is imperative to not only take distance into account 
when making the ratings, but also for industries to establish standards. 
This way we won't have manufacturer A claiming that his product emits 90 
dB(A) at 10 feet and manufacturer B claiming that his product emits 85 
dB(A) at 15 feet.

 Eric Greenspoon 
  President - NoiseWatch

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