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MP3 volume dangers revealed

British teenagers are risking their hearing by playing their MP3 players at high volume, according to a new poll out today.

Experts are warning that some music players can top 100 decibels when played at full volume, which can damage hearing in 15 minutes.

Long-term exposure to 80 to 85 decibels can also lead to hearing loss, they warn.

A survey of more than 4,400 people worldwide, including 737 Britons aged 14 to 65, was carried out by the Hear the World campaign.

Of the 459 Britons surveyed who were aged 14 to 19, 85% admitted they played their MP3 player at more than 50% of total volume.

Some 45% said they listened to their MP3 player every day and 9% always put the volume as high as it will go.

Overall, 16% of Britons listen to their players every day, just behind the US, which had the highest figure of 18%.

Of these, 19% listened for more than two hours a day.

Audiologist Robert Beiny said: "As the 'MP3 generation' grows, increasing numbers of teenagers and adults are exposing their hearing to dangerous levels of noise.

"Research shows that those who listen to music at these high volumes too often risk going deaf 30 years earlier than their parents' generation."

He recommends following the 60/60 rule - avoiding listening to an MP3 player at more than 60% of maximum volume and for more than 60 minutes at a time.

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