The Royal National Institute for the Deaf, the largest charity representing the U.K.’s 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people, warns that two thirds of youngsters using MP3 players are at risk of premature and permanent hearing loss:
The charity used decibel meters to test the volume of 110 young people’s MP3 players in Brighton, Manchester and Birmingham and found that 72 out of those tested were listening at over 85 decibels. Separate research by the charity found that almost half of young people who use MP3 players listen for more than an hour a day, with a quarter listening for more than 21 hours a week.
The World Health Organization says that listening to earphones at 85 decibels or more for over an hour at a time can damage hearing – and with eight million MP3 players sold last year alone in the UK, RNID is warning that a generation of young music lovers could face premature hearing damage.
Worryingly, the charity also found that 58 per cent of young people were unaware of any risk to their hearing from using MP3 players and 79 per cent had never seen warnings about noise levels on the packaging of MP3 players.