Sound is all around us and can be measured to inform and protect us, as some sounds are not safe. In fact, loud noise can be very damaging to hearing. The level of noise, where a person is in relation to the noise (distance to the noise), and the amount of time they listen to it can all result in risk for hearing loss.
Sound can be measured with a device called a decibel meter. It samples and measures sound, giving a readout. Decibel meters (also called sound-level meters) can even be accessed on a smartphone through apps. Measuring the sound of an environment with a common device like a smartphone that many people always carry may help protect their ears more often.
Sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. On the decibel scale, the level increase of 10 means that a sound is actually 10 times more intense, or powerful.
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