Is the iPod Killing a Generation? More Warnings Surface

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Is the iPod frying the ears of an entire generation?

Since hitting the market earlier this decade, the proliferation of white earbuds has been drawing concerns related to hearing loss.  The latest comes from the European Commission, which published a report on Monday that urged younger listeners to turn the volume down.  “There has been increasing concern about exposure from the new generation of personal music players which can reproduce sounds at very high volumes without loss of quality,” the Commission stated.

Of course, this is more than just an iPod problem, though Apple still commands a healthy lead in the portable space.  The European Commission estimated that between 2.5 million and 10 million Europeans exceed reasonable volumes and carry risk of serious long-term hearing loss.  The finding was based on thresholds established for workplace conditions, an area that has witnessed a decrease in auditory hazards.

The report was geared towards younger listeners, though older users are also guilty of cranking the volume.  Still, younger listeners are a card-carrying, iPod demographic, and the most likely to crank their tunes.  They are also the most likely to ignore or blatantly defy warnings, especially those that come from the established, adult world.  The study was produced by the Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks.