June 1, 2006

Noise Free America
For immediate release

Ted Rueter
[email protected]

Madison: The American digital music industry has won this month’s “Noisy Dozen” award from Noise Free America for cranking up the volume on portable music players and portable DVD players, causing hearing loss among teenagers. The American digital music industry has helped to create a destructive, high-volume world.

A poll by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association found that more than half of high school students report at least one symptom of hearing loss associated with the use of digital music devices. The poll found that high school students were more likely than adults to say they have experienced three of the four symptoms of hearing loss: turning up the volume on their television or radio; saying “huh?” or “what?” during normal conversations; perceiving that people’s voices are muffled or mumbled; and having tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

“Some MP3 players on the market are as high as 120 decibels,” said Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director. “That is louder than a leaf blowers, or lawn mower, a chainsaw, or a rock concert. This is irresponsible and destructive. A noisy world can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss–as well as headaches, aggravated behavior, chronic fatigue, and loss of sleep. Noise is a killer–and the American digital music industry should not be profiting from harming teenagers. Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission should regulate noise levels in these destructive devices.”

Noise Free America is a national citizens group opposed to noise pollution. Its web site is http://noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Governor Jesse Ventura and Youngstown, Ohio.