“Media players like Apple’s iPod will be set by default to a new, lower, ‘safe’ volume level in Europe, thanks to a new rule passed by the European Commission Monday,” Katie Marsal reports for AppleInsider. The rule states that listening at 80 decibels adjusted should not exceed 40 hours per week, while 89 decibels should be limited to 5 hours each week. Settings on devices like iPods will be based on those criteria.”
“‘EU standards are not mandatory, however if the new standard is approved by the European Commission and published in the Official Journal of the European Union, it ‘de facto’ becomes the industry norm,’ the commission said. ‘Products meeting those standards are presumed safe -– otherwise manufacturers have to go through costly independent testing for products. The new safety standards will apply only to future products,'” Marsal reports. “The commission sent a mandate to the European Union’s standardization body Monday. It requires that the new technical safety standards be drawn up, and implement the standard ‘soon.'”
Marsal reports, “Under the new rules, higher exposure levels are permitted, but the user must willingly select them after being presented with a warning of the risks and ways to avoid them. How the warnings are provided would be up to the manufacturer, whether it’s a label or something that displays on the device’s screen. Currently only a warning in the instruction manual is required.”
Full article here.