Students in Nottingham are putting their hearing at risk by playing music on personal stereos too loudly, according to City Council Environmental Health Officers.

The warning comes after officers surveyed students at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 24 May as part of National Noise Awareness Week.

They measured the decibel levels produced by the students’ headphones and their findings showed a high proportion putting their hearing at risk.  Of those tested, 43% played their music high enough to raise long-term concerns and 18% played their music at over 92 decibels – high enough to cause hearing damage after an hour per day.

Continuous exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss, but with some personal stereos reaching as high as 120 decibels, a lot of people are unknowingly damaging their ears, according to Environmental Health Officer Peter McEvoy.

He said: “It’s easy to protect yourself, as safe volume settings are installed on all devices sold in the EU – just go to the settings and switch them on.

“Your hearing is a delicate mechanism and once damaged you can’t get it back, so look after yourself, stick to safe amplification levels and limit your time exposed to higher noise levels.”

Studies show that 37% of rock musicians and shockingly 52% of classical musicians have a measurable hearing loss.

For ten tips on safe listening see NHS advice on