Ahead of World Hearing Day 2022, under the theme To Hear for Life, Listen with Care! WHO has issued a new international standard for safe listening at venues and events. The standard applies to places and activities where amplified music is played.
Over 1 billion people aged 12 to 35 years risk losing their hearing due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud music and other recreational sounds. This can have devastating consequences for their physical and mental health, education, and employment prospects.
“Millions of teenagers and young people are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices and exposure to damaging sound levels at venues such as nightclubs, bars, concerts and sporting events,” said Dr. Bente Mikkelsen, WHO Director for the Department for Noncommunicable Diseases.
She added: “The risk is intensified as most audio devices, venues and events do not provide safe listening options and contribute to the risk of hearing loss. The new WHO standard aims to better safeguard young people as they enjoy their leisure activities.”
Given the situation, WHO encouraged governments to develop and implement legislation to promote healthier lifestyles.
For safe listening in places and entertainment events, PAHO advised not to expose yourself to an average sound level greater than 100 decibels and to provide the public with personal hearing protection, along with instructions for use.
The Global standard for safe listening at venues and events highlights six recommendations for implementation to ensure that venues and events limit the risk of hearing loss to their patrons while preserving high-quality sound and an enjoyable listening experience, including. a maximum average sound level of 100 decibels and making personal hearing protection available to audiences including instructions on use (5) access to quiet zones for people to rest their ears and decrease the risk of hearing damage