Music volume limits 'may be ignored'4th February 2013
The charity Action on Hearing Loss has warned that new safety limits on volume levels for mobile phones and music players may not be heeded by 40% of young listeners.
The new safety limits mean that mobile phones and personal music devices which are sold in the EU have a volume limit of 85 decibels, although a user is able to increase the limit to 100 decibels if they want to.
The limits were set by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation after a warning in 2008 by the European Commission that listening to music at a high level could cause permanent hearing problems.
Paul Breckell, chief executive of Action on Hearing Loss, said: "I urge music lovers to consider the long-term risks of overriding the safe setting as overexposure to loud music can trigger tinnitus, and remember that a good pair of noise cancelling headphones can make all the difference."
According to a survey of more than 1,500 people aged between 16-34 by the charity, more than three-quarters (79%) of respondents did not know about the new limits.
Almost 40% of respondents said they would increase the default limit to 100 decibels.
The European Commission's assessment said: "Listening to music at 80 decibels or less is considered safe, no matter for how long or how often personal music players are used. This sound level is roughly equivalent to someone shouting or traffic noise from a nearby road."
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