New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is known for a lot of things — he’s a billionaire magnate, a one-time presidential candidate, crusader against guns, junk food, and cigarettes — and in the twilight of his final term as mayor of the Big Apple, he has decided to tackle an interesting issue that pertains very seriously to audio enthusiasts all over.
According to the New York Post, Bloomberg is launching a campaign to combat the public’s use of personal media players and headphones/earphones at loud and potentially-damaging noise levels.
“With public and private support, a public-education campaign is being developed to raise awareness about safe use of personal music players …and risks of loud and long listening.” — Nancy Clark, New York City Health Department Assistant Commissioner of Environmental Disease Prevention
As someone working in the health profession, I’m acutely aware of the rapidly rising incidence of noise-induced hearing loss amongst the younger population. This is a trend that has accompanied the rise of the Walkman, and then the iPod over the past two decades. Hearing loss is no longer just an occupational disease amongst construction workers or a congenital anomaly; it is rapidly becoming an epidemic that with affect peoples’ quality of life. For us audio enthusiasts, hearing loss prevents us from meeting our primary goal of listening to music in its fullest range; even worse for others, it becomes a functional hindrance that negatively affects quality of life. So, regardless of where your politics lie, everyone should commend Mr. Bloomberg for pushing the promotion of hearing safety, especially in one of the largest cities in the world.
Hearing safety and education has always been a primary goal of CYMBACAVUM — in the coming months, we will be featuring a series of knowledge articles on hearing safety and hearing loss. There will be general, expository articles, and for the more technically-minded, scientific articles that outline current and future goals of research on hearing safety. We’ll go through how noise exposure is assessed, exactly how excessive noise can damage, and precisely what can be done to minimize exposure. Please keep your eyes peeled for those articles.
Mr. T is an in-ear fanatic by day, and writes SOAP notes by night. He pities the fool who actually has the patience to read through his stuff.
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