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New York City health officials target teens' too-loud earbuds

New York is set to be the first city to launch a campaign aimed at getting people to turn down their earbuds.

The initiative, headed by the Department of Health, will focus on a social media push directed at teens, and some experts say the program is long overdue.

"Wonderful -- absolutely spectacular," said Dr. Ray Hull, a professor of audiology and neuroscience at Wichita State University.

"About 75 percent of high school seniors already have some degree of hearing loss," he said.

Laurie Hanin, executive director at the Center for Hearing and Communication in lower Manhattan, said many people aren't even aware that the irreversible effects of hearing loss are preventable.

Some teens said the program would complement some of the efforts phone manufacturers are taking to prevent hearing loss.

"I just got a new phone -- a Samsung Galaxy S-2 -- and every time I turn my music up, an alert comes up on the screen," said Jaliah Fernandez, 16, of East Flatbush.

"It makes me turn down my music," she said. "I realized I really don't need it so loud."

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