J Acoust Soc Am. 2019 Nov;146(5):3922. doi: 10.1121/1.5132540.
It is universally recognized that prolonged exposure to high levels of non-impulsive noise will lead to noise-induced hearing loss. These high levels of noise have traditionally been found in an occupational setting, but exposure to high levels of noise is increasingly common in recreational settings. There is currently no established acceptable risk of hearing loss in children. This review assumed that the most appropriate exposure limit for recreational noise exposure in children would be developed to protect 99% of children from hearing loss exceeding 5 dB at the 4 kHz audiometric test frequency after 18 years of noise exposure. Using the ISO 1999:2013 model for predicting hearing loss, it was estimated that noise exposure equivalent to an 8-h average exposure (LEX) of 82 dBA would result in about 4.2 dB or less of hearing loss in 99% of children after 18 years of exposure. The 8-h LEX was reduced to 80 dB to include a 2 dB margin of safety. This 8-h LEX of 80 dBA is estimated to result in 2.1 dB or less of hearing loss in 99% of children after 18 years of exposure. This is equivalent to 75 dBA as a 24-h equivalent continuous average sound level.