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Hearing Damage Risk from Headphone-Based Listening

The current proposal for dose display of the risk hazard from listening to personal music players (by WHO-ITU) is based on the day-dose estimation used in occupational health and safety. In such assessments it is unacceptable to exceed the day-dose on any given day because all coming days have to be assumed to hold the same risk. For personal music players, such as, e.g., smartphones, listening habits may differ considerably from day to day, and the day-dose equivalent may not provide an adequate characterization of the listener’s habits and risks. The present study discusses the general methods for risk assessment in view of case data that display considerable variation in listening habits. The data also suggests a systematic difference between self-reported listening habits and actual exposure patterns and also unveil individual variations that could suggest a tailored approach to risk attention.

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