Scientists warn of potential health risks from personal music players
www.chinaview.cn 2008-10-13 21:46:21   Print

Listening to personal music players at a high volume over a sustained period can lead to permanent hearing damage, European Union (EU) scientists warned Monday.

A commercial board for the Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod is seen inside a metro station in downtown Paris March 22, 2006. Listening to personal music players at a high volume over a sustained period can lead to permanent hearing damage, European Union (EU) scientists warned Monday.  (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Photo Gallery>>>

    BRUSSELS, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Listening to personal music players at a high volume over a sustained period can lead to permanent hearing damage, European Union (EU) scientists warned Monday.

    Five to 10 percent of personal music player listeners risk permanent hearing loss, if they listen to a personal music player for more than one hour per day each week at high volume settings for at least five years, according to an opinion of the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks released Monday.

    The committee gave the opinion after the European Commission asked it to examine the health issue, given the widespread use of personal music players and the surge in the number of young people exposed to such noise.

    The Commission, the executive body of the EU, said it would examine possible measures to better protect children and adolescents from exposure to noise from personal music players and other similar devices.

    The Commission is organizing a conference in early 2009 in Brussels to evaluate the findings of the Scientific Committee with EU member states, industry, consumers and other stakeholders. The seminar will address precautions that users can take, as well as technical solutions to minimize hearing damage and the need for further regulations or revisions of existing safety standards to protect consumers.

    "The scientific findings indicate a clear risk and we need to react rapidly. Most importantly we need to raise consumer awareness and put this information in the public domain. We need also to look again at the controls in place, in the light of this scientific advice, to make sure they are fully effective and keep pace with new technology," said EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva.

    In recent years sales of personal music players have soared, in particular those of MP3 players. Overall, in the EU, it is estimated that roughly 50 to 100 million people might be listening to portable music players on a daily basis.

Editor: An
Related Stories
Home Health
  Back to Top