Now that Ebola seems to be fading, the World Health Organization, being the “this-is-bad-for-you” busybodies that it is (and often with very good reasons) has issued another dire health warning. This time it has to do with the billion young people whose music is JUST TOO DAMN LOUD. It estimates that between half of those between 12 and 25 in middle- and upper-income countries are in danger because they operate their music players and phones at volume levels higher than they should. Another 40% are at risk because they go to music events where things are turned up beyond safe levels.
So how loud is loud? WHO guidelines say that more than eight hours in an environment where the volume level is 85 dB (about as loud as an iPhone can get through earbuds) is a bad idea. Even worse in environments where the volume is at 100 dB (a typical club or concert) in which hearing loss can begin to set in after as little as 15 minutes. Think about that the next time you put on some headphones.