Bloomberg’s Newest Public Health Initiative: Earbud Headphones?

The new iPod Nano is displayed during an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on September 12, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo: Getty Images)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is determined to give his voters the best quality of life in the country.  The only caveat?  Bloomberg is the one deciding what the “good life” looks like.

Therefore, if you’re a fan of fatty foods, smoking, soda, bottle-feeding infants, guns, Styrofoam, or the latest– loud music on your iPod or mp3 player— you might be out of luck.

The New York Post has the story:

Hizzoner’s [his honor’s] health officials are planning a social-media campaign to warn young people about the risk of losing their hearing from listening to music at high volume on personal MP3 players, The Post has learned.

“With public and private support, a public-education campaign is being developed to raise awareness about safe use of personal music players . . . and risks of loud and long listening,” said Nancy Clark, the city Health Department’s assistant commissioner of environmental-disease prevention.

The campaign, which will cost $250,000, is being financed through a grant received from the Fund for Public Health, the Health Department’s fund-raising arm.

The Hearing Loss Prevention Media Campaign will target teens and young adults, conducting focus-group interviews and using social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Bloomberg has had a bug about ear-splitting rackets since taking office at City Hall, making noise reduction one of his key quality-of-life initiatives.

In 2005, he signed a law — “Operation Silent Night” — overhauling the noise code. It cracked down on jolting jackhammer sounds at construction sites and on music blaring out of clubs, helping “make New York quieter and more liveable.”  [Emphasis added]

The Post proceeds to relay the statistics associated with the campaign, noting that iPods have a maximum volume of 115 decibels when apparently researchers suggest you remain under 85, and that hearing loss has increased among teens between 1988 and 2006 by about 30 percent.

So far, though, the initiative seems to lack the popular support of some of Bloomberg’s previous public health endeavors.

A jaded NY Mag author wrote: “It feels like Bloomberg’s slacking off on this one, so we’re refusing to comply until he issues a ban on loud music or personally yanks the wires out of our ears.”

MyFoxNY has more on the story:

New York News | NYC Breaking News

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