If there is one thing mobile technology has done for us, it has changed the way we buy and listen to music. At some point during a given day, you are bound to see someone jamming to some tunes on their mobile device, using snazzy little earbuds, big fat Beats type headphones, and everything in between.
According to a statement by the UN’s World Health Organization on Friday, more than 1 billion “young people” (meaning between the ages of 12 and 35 years) are at risk of suffering hearing loss due to loud music.
Most of those at risk are in developed markets, like the United States and Europe, where personal audio devices (like iPods) and smartphones are pervasive enough to present the strongest risk. Around the rest of the world, another 40% are exposed to dangerous volumes through live concert venues and clubs.
Sustained noise exposure over 85 decibels (up to 8 hours), or 100 decibels over shorter periods (15 minutes) is considered unsafe. “Young people should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back,” according to Shelly Chadha, a WHO specialist on hearing impairment.
To give you a frame of reference, the noise during rush hour in an urban area can reach 85 decibels. However, it is in other areas where the risk of hearing loss presents itself too, like sports stadiums. Vuvuzela wind instruments can generate noise over 120 decibels. It takes only 9 seconds for that type of sound intensity to cause hearing damage.
The WHO recommends that you listen to your favorite jams at reduced volumes, and if possible, limit use to an hour per day. The volume recommendation we can get behind, some folks just need their music all the time though. The WHO also advocates governments play an active role in developing and enforcing noise ordinances in public places.
Of course, many of you might benefit from lower volumes if your audio gear is up to the task. For that, you should check out our picks for earbuds and headphones priced for every budget.
sources: AFP via Yahoo! News
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