Health

Keep the volume down! UN issues guidelines for audio devices

Nearly half of all people aged 12 to 35, or 1.1 billion people, are at risk of hearing loss due to 'prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds,' WHO says.

WHO's 'Make Listening Safe' initiative seeks to improve listening practices especially among young people

There's a new international standard for the manufacture and use of devices such as smartphones and audio players to make them safer for listening. (EPA)

Two U.N. agencies want governments and makers of headphones, mobile phones and other audio devices to do more to keep down the volume they emit amid concerns about hearing loss in an increasingly digitized era.

The World Health Organization and the International Telecommunications Union on Tuesday presented new standards, or voluntary guidelines, for the manufacture and use of personal audio devices.  

WHO says nearly half of all people aged 12 to 35, or 1.1 billion people, are at risk of hearing loss due to "prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds." 


 
The recommendations say personal audio devices should include software to track exposure to sound. They should provide ways to limit volume, such as through parental controls, and tell people about the safety of their listening habits. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.