Listening to MP3 players at high volume increases the risk ofdeafnessin later life, expert warns.
In the past it waslabourersin noisy factories and soldiers usingfirearmswho lost their hearing. Now it is young people whocrank upthe sound on their personal music players.
Agenerationof children and young adults are risking deafness in middle age and beyond by listening to their iPods and MP3 players at high volume for several hours a day, aspecialisthas warned.
Inserting earphonesinto the ear canalintensifiesthe volume which can reach over 120 decibels,equivalentto the noise from a jetengine, according to Professor Peter Rabinowitz of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine programme at Yale University.
Damage to hearing is not the only risk. Some studies have shown that listening to an iPod or MP3 player while driving caninterferewith concentration in the same way as using a mobile phone.
"Cliniciansshouldadvisecurrentusers toavoidlistening to personal music players at maximum volume.Regardingother safetyconcerns, it would beprudentto advise removing earphones while driving and performing other safety-sensitive tasks.
"As the EU develops newregulationsfor personal music players, it isvitalthatmanufacturersand governments are supportive of these plans and work together to protect the hearing of a generation of music lovers."
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