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The UN issues urgent volume guidelines for audio devices

The UN issues urgent volume guidelines for audio devices

They warn that more than 1 billion people are at risk of permanent hearing damage...


The UN have issued urgent volume guidelines for audio devices.

With 900 million 12 to 35-year-olds at risk of irreversible hearing loss from exposure to loud sounds, such as music played on smartphone, by 2050, new guidelines have been proposed to help address the problem.

They include a parental volume control option on devices and using technology to generate individualised listener profiles by monitoring how much people use their audio devices, then letting them know how safely they have been listening.

The initiative - carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union - follows two years of discussions with experts from government, consumer bodies and civil society. 

Dr Shelly Chadha, a Technical Officer working on preventing deafness and hearing loss at WHO said, "Over a billion young people are at risk of hearing loss simply by doing what they really enjoy doing a lot, which is listening regularly to music through their headphones over their devices."

“At the moment, we don’t really have anything solid other than our instinct to tell us: are we doing this right, or is this something that is going to lead to tinnitus and hearing loss a few years down the line?”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, added, “Given that we have the technological know-how to prevent hearing loss, it should not be the case that so many young people continue to damage their hearing while listening to music. They must understand that once they lose their hearing, it won’t come back.”

Revisit Simon Baker's guest feature in which he presented his guide to preventing hearing damage, and his personal story of learning how best to live with it.

Read our recent DJs Guide to Prevening Tinnitus.

This piece of groundbreaking technology aims to give people with deafness the ability to experience live music in a new way.