Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 08:21 pm est

Bloomberg launches campaign to lower volume

Posted on March 14, 2013 | by Billy Richling



Even with his own wrap-up music about to start playing, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to get kids to turn down the volume.

The mayor has announced a new health initiative called the Hearing Loss Prevention Media Campaign, designed to inform New Yorkers about the risks of listening to loud music.

“Hearing loss increased more than 30 percent between 1988 and 2006,” said Veronica Lewin, assistant press secretary at the New York City Department of Health. “Exposure to loud sound can cause hearing problems, both hearing loss and tinnitus [ringing in the ear].”

Lewin said the Department of Health did not yet know the final cost or scope of the campaign, but it is being paid for by a grant from the Fund for Public Health, the fundraising arm of the department. An information page on the FPHNY website said the campaign would primarily target young digital music consumers through social media. The campaign will cost a total of $250,000.

“Hearing loss during adolescence not only increases the risk for more profound hearing problems later in life but also has other negative impacts such as low self-esteem, increased stress and increased risk of injury,” the site said. “The project will develop a public education campaign to promote safe listening behaviors among teens and young adults.”

An Apple iPod can reach a maximum volume of 115 decibels but William H. Shapiro, supervising audiologist at the NYU School of Medicine, said maximum safe exposure levels are much lower.

“The recommended exposure limit is 85 decibels, as an eight-hour time-weighted average,” Shapiro said. “Exposures at or above this level can be hazardous. If an individual is in an environment with noise above 85 decibels, safe exposure time should be reduced.”

However, Shapiro said the earbuds that come with most iPods are no more damaging than other types of headphones.

“Still, the closer the tip of the ear bud to the eardrum, the louder the stimulus,” Shapiro said. “So it’s not necessarily the type of earphone but how deeply inserted it is.”

Billy Richling is a contributing writer. Email him at


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.