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Local MEP welcomes EU plans to turn down MP3 player volume

September 28, 2009 9:28 PM

Local LibDem Euro MP Liz Lynne has welcomed plans by the European Commission which could mean Portable music or mp3 players have to carry health warnings.

Under the plans being drawn up, manufacturers such as Apple, which makes the iPod, will be asked either to display labels advising users of the damaging long-term effects of loud music on their hearing or to devise a system of on-screen alerts triggered by the prolonged use of headphones at high noise levels.

However users will be given a choice and have the option to override the noise controls if they wish.

The plans have been welcomed by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. Last year an EU scientific committee said that between 5 and 10 per cent of portable music users risked permanent hearing damage because they listened to too much music through headphones at or above 89 decibels. The committee suggested that up to ten million people in the EU could be left with impaired hearing in 20 years' time.

Commenting on today's proposals Liz said:

"How loud people listen to their music is of course a personal choice and this should remain the case, but people should be aware that if they listen too loud and for too long they could be doing serious damage to their hearing."

"I think people will be shocked to know that up to 10 million EU citizens could be left with impaired hearing or tinnitus in 20 years time because they are listening to their ipod or other portable music player too loudly."

ENDS

Notes:

As well as hearing loss, loud noise can also cause tinnitus, affect memory and attention levels and could even raise blood pressure.

For more information on the research done by the European Commission please see: http://ec.europa.eu/health/opinions/en/hearing-loss-personal-music-player-mp3/index.htm#il1