Many parents wonder whether their child will suffer from permanent hearing damage due to continually listening to loud iPods and other MP3 players.
So parents all over Europe must have been both worried and relieved last month when the European Union (EU) substantiated their fears and issued new guidelines limiting volume settings and recommended exposure times to protect its citizens’ hearing.
The EU guidelines state:
- All makers of portable music players must lower their default volume setting from 100 decibels (dB, the sound of a jetliner) to 80 dB (the sound of road traffic)
- The default level can be overridden by consumers who choose to do so
- Manufacturers must add a health warning to all new devices within the next two years
- At 80 dB, exposure should be limited to 40 hours a week