The European Commission is going to publish plans this week that will propose to limit the volume output on MP3 players and cell phones that are capable of playing music. The idea is that the current MP3 players and cell phones are able to play music at decibels that can do serious damage to a listener's ear.
"Campaigners say a safe listening level is below 85 decibels for 40 hours use a week, but some MP3 players play music at up to 120 decibels. Apparently Brussels wants the maximum decibel level to be reduced from 100 to 80 decibels, with all future music players built to the new standard."
An alternative to hard volume limiting is to place warning labels on such devices letting users know about the possible side effects of listening to loudly. Also proposed would be a software prompt that when volume is turned up to potentially harmful levels a prompt would appear letting users know of the dangers.
These proposals are a result of the EU scientific committee that suggested five to ten percent of users of portable MP3 players risked permanently damaging listeners ears.