1 in 10 MP3 Abusers Could Go Deaf

CNet reports on a study of MP3 usage performed by the EU’s Scientific Committee. The study says that one in ten iPod users could go deaf. It shouldn’t scare anyone away from buying an iPod or other MP3 player, but encourage users to use common sense in controlling the volume.
Please note the important distinction — it’s the VOLUME not the product. I’m seeing comments that some people are reluctant to buy a new iPod or MP3 player because of this. It’s akin to saying eating makes a person overweight. Eating and weight also depend on human behavior, not the act of eating.
My kid’s school had the “Experience the Awareness” program. The program involves the kids moving from station to station to learn about the different differences including asthma, ADHD, autism, blindness, deafness, etc. I, of course, worked at the hearing station.
The station activity doesn’t work well. Kids put cotton balls in their ears, don headphones, and listen to a recording. The cotton balls are supposed to muffle the sound. Well, last time we did this (two years ago), a lot of the kids could still hear. Plus, we had to keep listening to the headphones to make sure the volume was at the right level since you can’t see the volume.
So we changed it to bring a TV into the room with no volume and the captions turned on. The kids entered the room and my presentation partner would start talking to them without her voice. I’d tell the kids that she asked them a question and she was waiting for an answer.
Then I’d tell the kids that I went to speech therapy for 10 years and my voice isn’t perfect and it never will be. But because my speech is imperfect doesn’t mean I don’t have a working brain. I mention that I went to a school like theirs, graduated college, have a good career, three kids, volunteer with the PTA. That I am just like them except I don’t hear well.
My friend would talk about the different things that cause deafness — birth, an illness, or playing music too loud (which is why I bring this up). I hope the kids heard the last part. I’m sure they forgot it by the time they went home.
We received a few comments from parents who said the kids liked our presentation. The problem was that it requires a lot of talking and our voices were so tired by noon. You can’t do much with a TV and captions. And the kids switch stations every 5 to 10 minutes.
Anyway — let’s educate our friends and family to use common sense when playing with the volume. No pumping up the volume!


  1. That awareness project is a great idea.

    • MM on November 4, 2008 at 3:03 am
    • Reply

    The sad thing is all these young people abusing their hearing with ipods and MP3s and soon to go deaf are going to come here… where we will have to cope with their stupidity.

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