iPod earphones next on NYC mayor Bloomberg’s health hit list

“After launching campaigns against the Big Gulp, ‘big’ salt and ‘big’ junk food, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is embarking on a new target,” CBS New York reports. “He wants to stop New Yorkers from going deaf, so he’s put in motion an attack on ear buds, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday.”

“Now hear this … there’s a new enemy of the nanny state: people who choose to listen to loud music on their favorite devices,” CBS New York reports. “Bloomberg, who apparently has never met a health crusade he didn’t think worthy of embarking on, is launching a campaign to warn people about the risks of losing their hearing from blasting music on their headphones.”

“The initiative is aimed at the iPod generation, the people who were the first to put buds directly into their ears,” CBS New York reports. “The mayor’s campaign is being financed through a grant from the Fund for Public Health, the Department of Health’s fund raising arm.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The United States of America (and New York City, in particular, with its Nanny Bloomberg), where the greatest freedom is the one from personal responsibility.

Related articles:
Apple wins appeal over alleged iPod hearing loss – December 30, 2009
The useless iPod ‘potential for hearing loss’ lawsuit – February 05, 2006
Report: Apple iPod hearing loss lawsuit headed by Microsoft retained trial lawyer – February 02, 2006
iPod user sues Apple over hearing loss [UPDATED] – February 01, 2006
Doctors say London bombing victim’s hearing ‘saved by his Apple iPod earphones’ – July 11, 2005
Hearing Loss News: iPods can damage your ears – July 11, 2005


    1. Could it possibly be that the Mayor is experiencing hearing loss from riding in his helicopter or because he doesn’t want to hear the riff raff speaking? Possibly.

      I have tinnitus from riding in helicopters in the military service and from diving very deep while SCUBA diving (for Uncle Sam).

      Now I am paying for it. Can’t hear above the &$& take-off loud screeching in my ears. Nothing can help. Hearing aids don’t do squat. However, when I were my new EarBuds from Apple, I can hear the music fine.

      What is really nerve wracking is that the sound only goes away when I sleep. Hearing loss is a real bummer.

      If “nanny state” advisories work (which I doubt – look how many kids still play violent games on their computers and mobile devices with VERY loud sounds blasting away.) then a few people may be able to hear when they are older.

      Most people think that any government is bad. However, the founding fathers thought is was a good idea. It isn’t about politics. It is about person responsibility for your health. A warning on a cigarette pack plus horrific pictures of the results may deter some from smoking. Not sure what Mr. Bloomberg’s minions will suggest but I can guarantee, I will not be smoking any time soon. 😉


    2. Not so idiotic, if you’re a politician. When the Mayor is unable (or unwilling) to fix REAL problems, you distract the constituency. Public K-12 education in NYC that leaves 80% of its “graduates” unable to read and write well enough to enter college (without additional remedial classes). Too hard! Dealing with residents left homeless after Sandy. Pass! Warning people about the dangers of using earbuds. Yeah, let’s do that one…

      Judging from the comments here (some rather extensive), mission accomplished… populace sufficiently distracted from real problems.

      1. Well said. Hearing loss sucks, and maybe something should be done to warn people but the NYC mayor has bigger fish to fry and other people can do this one.

        1. Interesting that a man who cannot see and cannot think its obsessed with what we want to hear and want to ingest. Next obsession will be restricting what we want to own, where we want to gather, what we want to speak….all for the common good. Common good meaning what benefits politicians.

    1. Because its a monumental waste of public (yours and mine) funds.

      Until a couple months ago I owned a 2005 Ford GT. It would go 225mph, and zero to 60 in under 4 seconds. On the driver’s door window was a notice that it was known to the State of California that the vehicle contained and/or used known carcinogens.

      What did it cost the State legislature to require that notice? More importantly, did it deter ANYONE from buying one of the most exciting vehicles ever built?

      That law was passed to mollify a wacko constituency, and for no other reason.

    2. If you take out the snarky language inserted by the CBS news, it simply states that “Bloomberg…is launching a campaign to warn people about the risks of losing their hearing from blasting music on their headphones.”

      These are the same types of warnings that eventually helped to turn the tide on smoking (along with larger “sin” taxes) or help to curb drinking and driving. It has been proven time and time again that common sense isn’t enough. Think about it for a minute before jacking off with a snarky response about “nanny states” or similar nonsense.

      Many people suffered from severe hearing impairments in previous decades due to job conditions – factories, military service, etc. – that exposed them to damaging sound levels. My own father was largely deaf as a result of military service. Hearing loss is not a great thing for the person that has it or his family and friends.

      Now let’s consider our kids injecting sound directly into their auditory canals for a significant number of hours per day. We all know that kids tend to have an invulnerability mindset – take risks now and deal with the consequences later. When my kids were young I controlled the maximum volume on their iPods. When they got older, I released those controls, but took the time to warn them of the cumulative and permanent hearing damage caused by unsafe volume levels. That’s all good and well. But I also know that kids often tend to ignore the advice given by parents. So I am fine with a warning from someone else.

      Do you really want hundreds of thousands of kids to experience permanent hearing loss from listening to music too loud over a period of years? If that doesn’t bother you, then let me put is in terms that you might understand – the medical costs associated with earbud-induced hearing loss could be massive and long term. Do you want to pay for it?

      Yes, Bloomberg does take off on some interesting tangents sometimes, and some of his solutions are not very popular. And, yes, I think that a lot of the mandatory warnings on products are ridiculous, too. I don’t need to be instructed to avoid eating silica gel packets and lots of other products/chemicals. But don’t be too quick to condemn every government effort to improve human health and welfare. I suspect that it is likely that most people in the U.S. have benefited, directly or indirectly, from some type of government health initiative in the past.

      And, as an example of someone who shot off a comment without reading the actual article, I present the following to greggthurman and others who complained about government waste.

      “The mayor’s campaign is being financed through a grant from the Fund for Public Health, the Department of Health’s fund raising arm.”

      The Fund for Public Health chose to back this initiative. It isn’t taxpayer money and is isn’t your money unless you chose to donate to the Fund for Public Health.

      1. Thank you… And we expect our leaders to have many people supporting them and for them to be able to multi-task. This probably only takes 5 minutes of his time and passed on to others to educate the masses. Tinnitus is a nasty health issue, one that is not communicated enough. It is hard to understand. I for one thank our leaders who try to educate the masses as early in their lives as possible.

        It may also lead to businesses to innovate new technology that will do less damage to hearing while giving the sensation of loud music.

    1. That is very true, scott, and those high levels are damaging as indicated by the post-concert ringing in your ears. For most people, however, a concert is only an occasional event. For many kids, earbuds are plugged in for a number of hours every day. Extended exposure, even at much lower-than-concert sound pressure levels, can be very damaging. But that damage tends to be very gradual. If you are an older adult, then you might liken it to the gradual loss of visual acuity from age 30 to 50, the difference being that the hearing loss is completely avoidable.

    2. And IIRC, a simple lawnmower isn’t much different.

      BTW, next time that you see a lawn service, do pay attention to see if the employees are wearing any hearing protection.


  1. Hey, it’s just a public service warning with “a campaign to warn people about the risks of losing their hearing from blasting music on their headphones”.
    You can still crank em up and go deaf if you choose to.

  2. We get the same stupid nannying messages about every year or so here in the UK, usually from the Daily Mail. I have tinnitus, not from wearing earbuds; they weren’t even invented then. Mine is from standing right in front of a speaker stack at a Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam gig.
    Nowadays I wear earplugs. And full canalphones as well as the new EarPods, which reminds me, the old-style earbuds can be an issue; because there’s no seal, background noise means that wearers do tend to have the volume louder in order to hear over that background noise. Earphones that seal the ear canal need less volume, and even the new Apple EarPods do a reasonable job.

    1. This could be my story. I too now mix with protection and ride motorcycles with either protection or canal phones. Tinnitus really really sucks. People need to know they can limit the maximum volume on their iPods.

      1. I worked in power plants for 32 years where there is sustained 110dB and louder noise. My hobbies included rock concerts, NASCAR and NHRA (AA/FD) racing, and shooting sports. Although I always wore hearing protection at work, I have severe hearing loss in one ear and moderate loss in the other. I wear hearing aids these days. Ear buds? Yeah, I suppose that’s an issue, but really, in the grand scheme? Not so much.

        1. Well, yes if the State or Government doesn’t spend that money elsewhere before you ever see it. LIke with Social Security.
          Politicians HATE to see a saved dollar sitting idle making interest waiting for it’s intended purpose far in the future. They want to tax it or spend it NOW. And that goes for their collected state money or MY personal savings account.

          1. It is more than matched! 60 something percent to the employee FICA withholding.

            To Kingmel – read your damn constitution. What is the role of government relative to personal freedom. I challenge you to research Corporatism and National Socialism – brands of politics you seem to buy in to. Let people be responsible for themselves. If someone damages their hearing, great on them.

  3. Wasn’t there similar campaign like decades ago about this. This does seem to be new. Also iOS devices have a feature to protect user from setting their volume to high called “Volume limit” For the minority rest of us we have common sense.

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