The Royal National Institute for Deaf (RNID) is proposing that the makers of iPods and MP3 players should label the devices with a warning against excessive use at high volumes. RNID claims that companies such as Apple and Creative Technology should be giving consumers warnings about the damage to hearing that using such devices for extended periods at high volumes could pose.

Recently, a poll at a London station found that 80 per cent of music player users had their volume set at over 80-decibels, and the RNID also claims that 58 per cent of 16-30 year olds are unaware of the dangers to hearing that are posed by using MP3 players and other audio products that attach directly to the ears.

RNID chief executive Dr John Low said: "We know that young people are at risk of losing their hearing prematurely by listening to loud music for too long on MP3 players. MP3 player manufacturers have a responsibility to make their customers aware of the risks and the need to listen at sensible levels, and we urge them to incorporate prominent warnings into the packaging of their products.
The RNID warns that people who experience a ringing or buzzing in their ears after using MP3 players should take this as a warning that their hearing could be being damaged.

"New technology and ever-increasing storage capacity enable people to listen non-stop for hours - and at louder volumes than ever before. If you are regularly plugged in, it is only too easy to clock up noise doses that could damage your hearing forever," John Low warned.