We read last year Apple rejected outright any attempt to limit volume controls after groups in the USA challenged their ipods contributed to hearing loss (Just as they do here in the UK). USA courts rejected the opposition and while accepting they could contribute to hearing loss, it is the stupid OWNERS fault for turning them up too high. The same logic that says guns are not a problem gun-owners are.
Japan/china/Korea went much the same way, so the sole avenue left, of addressing loud audio equipment is for the UK to issue strict guidelines on imports. There is no desire by our government to do that, and as I understand NO Lobby in the UK demanding that. I think personally all audio equipment we have in the home from CD players to ipods to TV's etc should be strictly limited to the government guideline of safe volume. You get TV's of over 50 watts output, surround sound that means you cannot escape it in any part of the room you are listening in, young people too stupid to take any notice, and have the view "Better deaf than not having fun.." (Obviously an logic based on never having been deaf or knowing what it means). What it means is the music does NOT go on, neither does the fun.
In short governments have to overrule personal preferences,this point meant Apple won their case, as the USA is sensitive to being told what to do, even to help themselves avoid misery and poor health. 9 million British, and (See Below), many more millions of Americans of all ages too are in the brown stuff.
The area of 'coercion' was the contentious one. Indeed could well force deaf charities and environmental aid providers having to withdraw a lot of equipment they sell to us, like one telephone I saw that exceeded safe volume guidelines for hard of hearing by 52%, I didn't personally agree VOLUME is the answer to poor hearing, but tends to accelerate loss.
It is just playing into the myth deaf or HoH just need things that are louder. They don't, if you are deaf NO volume makes any difference, if you are HoH you take the risk of tinnitus and worse loss, for short term gain, because the volumes just are turned up and up to compensate.. I think you have to simply remove the right of people to deafen themselves, or at least force manufacturers to realise no-one needs equipment at that level..
They say in 20 years cigarettes will vanish as a habit in the UK since we have made the user look anti-social, perhaps we need to make loud noise more unsociable too. It's a mystery health and safety UK already issue legal guidelines, but they appear only to apply in the workplace. However, this is constantly abused too, as complaints are coming in regularly of cafe's and other service areas and transport, where piped music is so loud you cannot hear yourself think. Employers said "Music makes for an happier and more productive workforce.." yes and deaf patrons too. Let THEM hear it we don't want to. We're fed up shouting over the counter because they are in a world of their own. The customer is right not the employee.
I did a blog last week about Hotels who break the law and PUBS and other public areas, that offer noisy TV's and background so that HI were unable to effectively communicate, they ARE Breaking the law, so why isn't no-one pursuing it ? Background noise on TV broadcasts are being challenged,but it is not having much effect,and neither is better classroom acoustics being taken up so HI kids can follow lessons properly. So we widen the doors for those in wheelchairs and deafen them when they get in ? Silence isn't golden, but noise certainly isn't either !
Safe USA Levels
Safe UK levels