Your MP3 player could make you deaf in five years, warn scientists

Music lovers who listen to their MP3 players at high volumes risk permanent hearing loss in just five years, scientists warned today.

Up to 10million people could be at risk, said the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). The quality of music reproduction on the personal stereos is now so good that more people are turning up the volume. A report from SCENIHR estimated that five to 10 per cent of personal music player users risk permanent deafness if they listen for more than an hour a day at high volume settings for at least five years.

And if that sounds like a low risk, European Commission officials pointed to the rising numbers of people who plug themselves into loud music every day just for journeys to and from school or work. Add up the hours and the decibels, they said, and the number in the EU risking some permanent hearing loss is put at between 2.5 and 10million people.

An EU safety standard already exists restricting the noise level of personal music players to 100 decibels, but the scientists said the danger level is long-term exposure to music pumped into the ears above 89 decibels. At that level, users of personal music players are exposed to higher noise levels than currently allowed in factories after just five hours listening.

Source - Daily Mail

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