BUS passengers could be urged to travel in silence.
Health and noise experts in Kirklees are planning a crackdown on personal stereos on public transport.
They believe excessive use of the stereo systems could be damaging users’ hearing.
And they also admit there is a problem for other passengers, irritated by the noise.
Kirklees Council is taking the imitative during Noise Action Week.
They want to educate users of personal music players on how they could be damaging their hearing.
Environmental Health officers and medical staff from the Health Protection Agency will be speaking to travellers on buses in Huddersfield to advise them of the dangers.
A council spokesman said: “The knock on effect of this work should also help reduce the annoyance created for other bus users of loud personal music players.
“Research has revealed that listening to personal music players at high volumes can cause serious damage to hearing.
“According to a report from the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, as many as 10% of personal music player listeners are at risk of permanent hearing loss through listening to music through headphones at high volumes for long periods of time.2
Sales of personal music players have soared in recent years and with 50 to 100 million people listening to personal players in the EU, around 2.5 – 10 million people are now at risk.
MP3 players are considered particularly dangerous because they can reach very high volumes without loss of quality and can store hours of music, so people listen for longer.
Some devices tested have reached 120 decibels – the equivalent of a jet taking off.
The spokesman added: “Hearing damage from personal music players can largely be prevented by measures such as reducing the noise exposure levels and duration of listening.
“Listening to music at 80 dB(A) or less is regarded as safe, with hearing loss very unlikely at or below that level, no matter for how long or how often personal music players are used.
“Currently, there are no limits for the volume of MP3 players in the EU, although the EU Commission wants a maximum volume to be set on MP3 players, including iPods.
“It has proposed a maximum default setting of 85 decibels, with a top limit of 100 decibels.”
Other projects to be tackled by the noise-busters includes a crackdown on noisy parties on summer evenings.
They will use extra staff to respond to complaints about noise between 9pm and 7am.
And if people persist in playing music, then the council officers have the power to seize stereo equipment.