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Huh?! The EU Telling People to Turn iPod Volume Down

Members of the European Union work together for Europe's common values such as democracy and social justice. In addition to solving the world's financial mess, there's at least one other common challenge the international body wants to confront: iPods. Today, the EU executive asked Europeans, especially children and youth, to turn that music down! — or risk long-term hearing damage or loss.

A report from EU scientists found that 2.5-10 million Europeans could suffer hearing loss, as a result of listening to MP3 players at over 89 decibels for at least one hour a day, for a five year period. Perhaps because the governments anticipate rising medical care costs as a result of the damage, the EU might impose a volume limit lower than the current 100 decibel maximum.

Should a supranational body be responsible for keeping MP3 players safe, or is a warning in the user's manual enough?


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
how would i know how loud my iPod is though - since there's nothing on it that tells me what decibels it's at. i can understand how they want to make people aware that they could be affecting their hearing, but come on - it's really something that you can't control or mandate. if it's in someone's ears, then it's not disturbing anyone. if it were a house party or a car - then sure ...but this is something else. i do have to say though that riding an elevator and being able to hear someone's music as clear as anything is kind of annoying.
DefyAllLogic DefyAllLogic 8 years
i just want them to turn their music down enough so I'm not forced to listen to it with them on the subway. or get better ear buds. If you righteously choose deafness that's your business, but just like smoking, keep it out of my space. (it's nice of them to at least bring it to people's attention if they can't actually do something about it. maybe parents can be paranoid about it and train their snowflakes to listen to a lower volume.)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
True Michelin but I think we have to boil it down to the common denominator and that is health/safety. I guess my point is when the threat to health/safety is acute we leap to action as though there's fire on our @$$ and when it is gradual we're almost blind to it.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Hypno, a car seat's sole function is to protect a child, so if it doesn't do that, it's recalled. Ipods aren't meant to protect your hearing. I think it's only logical that a less urgent problem warrants a less urgent response.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Why don't the manufacturers make them so they only go up to a safe sustainable level. When a car seat threatens a child's safety it's recalled and corrected right? Why is it that when the damage to a person is spread out over years or decades does it make it less urgent to do something about it?
geebers geebers 8 years
I sometimes turn the volume up at max and leave the ear buds out so I can listen to it while doing laundry or something else where my hands arent able to hold my mp3 player because my belt attachment is broken. Not everyone listens to it in their ear. (And I admit that I could be a rare case)
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
In the eighties we shorted this stock down to oblivion, like Larry Wildman going off a cliff in my new Maserati. And we went long in IBM.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
"It looks like I'm in the minority here, but I think this type of legislation is a great idea. I've been hearing for a long time about how earbuds cause serious hearing loss (much more so than speakers that are outside the ear, like traditional headphones or car speakers)." Goverment shouldn't be regulating what people are doing especially if it's not imposing on others, this is an invasion of ones rights. From your comment it makes more sense for the goverment to regulate Apple/MP3 player companies and prevent them from making earbuds
Michelann Michelann 8 years
On the bright side, you don't have to imagine! Here I am. People have the right to put whatever they want into their bodies, and any government that says otherwise is a nanny state.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
You can't imagine anybody saying that people have the right to take heroin or cocaine? I don't think you've been paying attention to a fair number of voices in the drug-war debate.
geebers geebers 8 years
But not really cote because highly addictive and damaging drugs have been proven to lead to a decline in societies. Listening to your ipod at a loud level really only affects you and your hearing. I don't think government should be legislating this.
cotedazur cotedazur 8 years
It looks like I'm in the minority here, but I think this type of legislation is a great idea. I've been hearing for a long time about how earbuds cause serious hearing loss (much more so than speakers that are outside the ear, like traditional headphones or car speakers). It's frightening that Apple and other MP3 makers aren't responsible enough to impose such a limit themselves, and if they don't, I think it's 100 percent within the government's right to impose one. A publicity campaign or a warning in the user's manual are entirely insufficient. Think of another similar legislation: drug laws. I can't imagine ANYONE saying that people should have the right to take heroin or cocaine, or calling a gov't a "nanny state" because it bans dangerous substances. It's the same situation here.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Although I think it is dangerous to listen to music that loud ( like blue my dad can't hear very well because of listening to music to high in his car not in headphones) I don't think it's the EU's place to impose limits on a device that people are using for leisure activities and that only potentially pose harm to the person using it. I could see if the EU wants to run ads/commmericals etc warning of the risks of playing your ipod to loud but to impose mandates is wrong.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
It would be nice to have more public education on the dangers of listening to music at such high levels, but I don't think the government should impose laws to prohibit people from doing so. My dad has lost a large percentage of his hearing from a number of things, high music levels being one of them.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
In my area, I'd rather see a volume limit on car stereos, since that affects other people. God, if I could have one night where someone doesn't cruise slowly down the street at 2 in the morning blasting horrid rap or techno music so loud it shakes the windows, that would be great.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
I also find those people extremely rude. Sorry, but I do NOT want to listen to YOUR music.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
To be honest, I know 25 year olds who can't hear in a crowded room, or can't hear low voices. I cannot imagine that! But these people listen to their iPods at full blast. Frankly, I find volumes above a certain level painful, I can't imagine how people can do that all the time.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I think they are considering legislating, haus: "the EU might impose a volume limit lower than the current 100 decibel maximum." *shakes head*
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Well did he ASK or are they trying to legislate? Asking is fine, but this part bothers me - "Apple was forced to pull its iPod player from store shelves in France and upgrade software on the device to limit sound to 100 decibels." Vote NO to nanny states!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Nah, that's like banning smoking. Let people decide what's more important to them, listening to their music at full blast for hours at a time or keeping their hearing.
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