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Permissible Exposure Limits for Occupational Noise

Check this table for the highest permissible sound pressure levels that employees can be exposed to over a specified period of time.

Noise exposure

Noise exposure is described in either of these 2 ways:

  1. An 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) sound level
  2. A noise dose (in percent at the 8-hour allowable exposure)

Program participation

Participation in UCSD's Hearing Conservation Program is required when employee exposure to occupational noise is expected to equal or exceed:

  • 85 dB(A) averaged out over an 8-hour workday
    OR, equivalently,
  • A dose of 50% or greater

Exposure limits

Maintain employee exposure to occupational noise within the limits given in the table below.

Contact EH&S Occupational Health & Hygiene at ehsih@ucsd.edu to schedule noise exposure assessment and control services.

Cal/OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits for Occupational Noise
Sound Pressure Level (dB(A)) Duration Time (hours)
80 32
81 27.9
82 24.3
83 21.1
84 18.4
85 16.0
86 13.9
87 12.1
88 10.6
89 9.2
90 8.0
91 7.0
92 6.2
93 5.3
94 4.3
95 4.0
96 3.5
97 3.0
98 2.6
99 2.3
100 2.0
101 1.7
102 1.5
103 1.4
104 1.3
105 1.0
106 0.87
107 0.76
108 0.66
109 0.57
110 0.5
111 0.44
112 0.38
113 0.33
114 0.29
115 0.25
116 0.22
117 0.19
118 0.16
119 0.14
120 0.125
121 0.11
122 0.095
123 0.082
124 0.072
125 0.063
126 0.054
127 0.047
128 0.041
129 0.036
130 0.031