Deafness prevention

Make Listening Safe: A WHO initiative to promote safe listening practices

WHO's vision

People of all ages should follow safe listening practices in order to avoid hearing loss. In order to achieve this vision, WHO:

  • highlights the need for safe listening and outlines actions to be taken by different stakeholders (see FAQs)
  • is working to develop standards and tools to facilitate safe listening

Strategies and actions for this have been planned in partnership with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), through a multi-stakeholder collaboration involving experts from professional associations, civil society organizations and the private sector as well as users themselves.


Development and implementation of global standards for devices which would allow for safe listening. The development of standards for devices such as mobile phones which would allow for safe listening is led by ITU in collaboration with WHO and other experts. When implemented, these standards will regulate exposure to loud sounds through personal audio devices and provide information that can enable users to make safe listening choices. The standards are expected to be launched in 2018.

Communication campaign for safe listening and a safe listening mobile app

Through this campaign, WHO aims to raise awareness about safe listening practices especially among young people and highlight the need for safe listening to policymakers, health professionals, parents and others.

WHO’s safe listening app will be one step in this direction. It will provide users with tips and information on safe listening. It will include a media player that can monitor sound exposure and assist in safe listening. Find out more (MaLiSa app).

Follow @WHO #safelistening

Develop a regulatory framework for control of exposure to sound in entertainment venues

In collaboration with partners, WHO is studying existing regulations regarding noise in entertainment venues, such as nightclubs, bars and arenas hosting concerts and sporting events. This is the first step in the development of a regulatory framework to promote safe listening spaces.