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A European Commissioner is preparing to present manufacturers of portable media players (PMP) and music-capable handsets with a mandate, following concerns that mobile music fans could be damaging their hearing.

Next week, Meglena Kuneva - European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs - will present details of an EU mandate to develop standards for personal music player manufacturers – including MP3 players and mobile phones that play music through headphones.

The mandate’s specific details haven’t been disclosed yet, but it’s reasonable to assume that it will push for manufacturers of such devices to take greater steps to protect consumer hearing.

A spokeswoman for the Royal National Institute for Deaf People – which is supporting the Commissioner’s mandate – told Register Hardware that the document will also be presented before the European Parliament.

The EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks recently discovered, according to Kuneva, that between five and 10 per cent of music player listeners risk permanent hearing loss if they listen to a PMP for over one hour per day each week – at a high volume - for at least five years.

Further details about Kuneva’s mandate will be released next week. ®

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