Jonathan Ernst / Reuters file
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, pictured in January at the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, has taken on numerous dietary habits he considers unhealthy.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who banned 16-ounce sodas, trans fats in restaurants and public smoking — has a new bug in his ear: young people who play their music too loud through their headphones.
The city's spending a quarter-million dollars to launch a Hearing Loss Prevention Media Campaign warning young people through social media and focus groups about the risk of losing their hearing, The New York Post reported Wednesday.
"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," Nancy Clark, the city Health Department's assistant commissioner of environmental disease prevention, told The Post.
Researchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston reported in 2010 that nearly 1 in 5 Americans ages 12 to 19 have lost some of their hearing.
The researchers didn't single out portable music devices, but cited a 2010 Australian study that linked them with a 70 percent increased risk of hearing loss in children.
Bloomberg has won a reputation for trying to ban things he considers unhealthy. Just last month, he proposed banning Styrofoam because it clogs landfills and might be harmful.
Other things and activities Bloomberg has banned since he was elected in 2001 include:
- Smoking in bars and restaurants.
- Trans fats, the artificial fats used to cook french fries and other greasy treats, which doctors consider the most dangerous saturated fat.
- Menu boards that don't include calorie counts.
- And most famously, soft drinks larger than 16 ounces.
Q&A: How loud is too loud?