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Health and Safety Information 139
Damage to hearing occurs when a person is exposed to loud sounds over time. The
risk of hearing loss increases as sound is played louder and for longer durations.
Prolonged exposure to loud sounds (including music) is the most common cause of
preventable hearing loss. Some scientific research suggests that using portable
audio devices, such as portable music players and cell phones, at high volume
settings for long durations may lead to permanent noise-induced hearing loss.
This includes the use of headphones (including headsets, earbuds, and Bluetooth
or other wireless devices). Exposure to very loud sound has also been associated in
some studies with tinnitus (a ringing in the ear), hypersensitivity to sound, and
distorted hearing. Individual susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss and
potential hearing problem varies. Additionally, the amount of sound produced by a
portable audio device varies depending on the nature of the sound, the device
settings, and the headphones that are used. As a result, there is no single volume
setting that is appropriate for everyone or for every combination of sound, settings,
You should follow some common sense recommendations when using any portable
Always turn the volume down before plugging the earphones into an audio source.
Set the volume in a quiet environment and select the lowest volume at which you can hear
Be aware that you can adapt to higher volume settings over time, not realizing that the
higher volume may be harmful to your hearing.
When using headphones, turn the volume down if you cannot hear the people speaking near
you or if the person sitting next to you can hear what you are listening to.
Do not turn the volume up to block out noisy surroundings. If you choose to listen to your
portable device in a noisy environment, use noise-cancelling headphones to block out
background environmental noise. By blocking background environment noise, noise
cancelling headphones should allow you to hear the music at lower volumes than when