Wired Feature: the Unlikely Cure to A Deafness Pandemic

October 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Audio is a passion of mine, whether it be the quality with which I encode my music or the equipment I use to listen to it. In fact I take it to a level most would consider extreme… probably a little sad. The sad thing is the majority of people take it to the other extreme: low quality music on cheap devices listened to through cheap earbuds. Why sad? Because it poses a genuine threat to your hearing, something I investigated for Wired UK. Here is an extract from this piece, if you enjoy it please READ ON.

How 3D printing and lasers are helping fight a European ‘deafness pandemic’

For Wired UK by Gordon Kelly |19 October 2010

In October 2008 the European Union announced findings that should have caused uproar. Its Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) reported five to 10 percent of personal music player owners risk permanent hearing loss “should they listen to music at a high volume setting for more than one hour per day for at least five years”.

Does this sound like anyone you know, or everyone you know?

At the time EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva expressed her shock at the report saying: “I am concerned that so many young people, in particular, who are frequent users of personal music players and mobile phones at high acoustic levels, may be unknowingly damaging their hearing irrevocably.” She stressed the need to “react rapidly”, look at the controls in place and “most importantly… raise consumer awareness”.

In the two years that have now passed, you only need to sit on public transport or wait in a queue to realise the EU failed miserably. So who is going to clean up this mess? Well it may just be a small company in Banbury… READ ON

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