Extracts from the press conference by Meglena Kuneva on possible measures that could be taken to better protect children and adolescents from exposure to noise from personal music players and other similar devices
Consumers will benefit from new default settings on personal music players set at safe exposure levels, as well as clear warnings on the adverse effects of excessive exposure to high sound levels, following a decision by the European Commission on 28 September 2009.
In October 2008, the EU Scientific Committee SCENIHR 1, warned that listening to personal music players at a high volume over a sustained period can lead to permanent hearing damage. 5 to 10% of listeners risk permanent hearing loss. These are people typically listening to music for over 1 hour a day at high volume control settings. It is estimated that up to 10 million people in the EU may be at risk.
The European Commission sent a mandate to Cenelec (the EU standardisation body) requiring new technical safety standards to be drawn up.
Meglena Kuneva, Member of the EC in charge of Consumer Protection, thus held a press conference to present this EU action to limit health risks from exposure to noise from personal music players.