ITU and WHO launch ‘safe listening’ toolkit and standard to protect people’s hearing

Image from ITU/WHO.

ITU and WHO jointly launched the “Toolkit for safe listening devices and systems” and related international standard to prevent audio devices from causing hearing loss in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 February 2019.

A billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of developing hearing loss because they listen to music too long and too loud. Rising incomes and greater access to technology are increasing the numbers of people at risk. Once hearing loss due to loud sounds occurs, it cannot be reversed. If left unaddressed, it can greatly impact one’s ability to communicate, gain education or find and hold suitable employment.

The toolkit provides guidance to support Member States, industry partners and civil society groups to use and implement the standard, which comprises a set of recommendations for safe listening features that should be included on every personal listening device.

Mr Malcolm Johnson, ITU Deputy Secretary-General, noted that “This is the first time we will have a standard where users are able to be aware of the risks they are entering into by listening to their devices…. ITU’s collaboration with WHO is very important. This standard and future standards are not just helping the technology to develop, but also helping to improve peoples’ health.”

Source: ITU News