New York Mayor takes aim at hearing loss

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New York mayor and health advocate Michael Bloomberg has launched an effort to warn of the dangers of using personal listening devices (PLDs) at high volumes. The quarter of a million dollar Hearing Loss Prevention Media Campaign will use social media and focus groups to warn young people about losing their hearing through the improper use of ear buds and other PLDs.

It is estimated that iPods, at maximum volume, can reach jet-plane levels of 115 decibels – well over the 85 decibel levels that is considered safe by hearing advocates. This decibel level can cause temporary deafness and tinnitus and can damage nerve cells. Audiologists have reported increasing numbers of teenaged patients showing early signs of noise-induced hearing loss. Some have predicted that young people will need hearing aids at a much earlier age than their parents and grandparents.

This isn't Bloomberg's first battle with volume control. In 2005, he overhauled the city’s noise ordinances for the first time in more than three decades. The law enabled police officers to enforce limits on a wide range of noises, including music, car alarms, and jackhammers.

Mayor Bloomberg is well known for pushing initiatives to improve the health of New Yorkers. Since being elected in 2001, he has banned trans fats, smoking in bars and restaurants and menu boards that don’t include calorie counts.

Source:, Huffington Post