A new report commissioned by the European commission warns that millions of European children and youths are at risk of permanent hearing loss if they listen to portable music players at high volume levels for as little as five hours per week. Researchers point out that the risk of hearing loss is increasing in direct proportion to advances in portable player technology which allow music to be played at higher and higher volumes.

The report, released yesterday, notes that between 50 and 100 million European residents use portable music players daily. Hearing damage figures were estimated at between five and ten percent of that total.

Researchers also cited cell phones as a hearing loss risk, since some models can also be used to play digital music at high volume levels. They roll all types of potentially-damaging, high-volume sound to which young people may be exposed into a new category dubbed ‘leisure noise’.

Leave a Reply