Young people risk hearing loss from loud music in venues such as nightclubs and concerts, the World Health Organization (WHO) said as it issued a new global standard for safe listening.

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Nearly 40% of teenagers and young adults aged 12–35 years in middle and high-income countries are exposed to potentially damaging sound levels in venues such as nightclubs, discotheques
and bars, the WHO said in a statement, adding that it recommended a maximum average sound level of 100 decibels.

The risk of hearing loss is intensified because most audio devices, venues and events do not provide safe listening options, Bente Mikkelsen, WHO director for the department for noncommunicable diseases said on Wednesday.

The WHO also said that it recommended live monitoring of sound levels and designated “quiet zones” at venues.

The new recommendations are in addition to guidelines the WHO issued in 2019 outlining how individuals can limit hearing damage due to prolonged exposure to loud music on devices such
as mobile phones and audio players.

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