BRUSSELS — Turn it down. That's the advice the European Union wants to hear from the makers of digital music players.
It wants those companies to adopt new standards aimed at preserving the hearing of the people who listen to music on those devices.
The EU's consumer affairs commissioner says people who want to still be able to enjoy their favorite songs 20 or 30 years from now should listen to them at a lower volume now. She says there's concern over the health risks of turning the volume too high, especially among younger people.
An EU scientific advisory body says between 2.5 million and 10 million Europeans could suffer hearing loss from listening to MP3 players at unsafe volumes — meaning a volume over 89 decibels — for more an hour a day for at least five years.
The new standards would see new players include a maximum sound level default at 80 decibels. However, users could still switch that default off if they wanted to.