Katie Couric's Notebook: iPod Volume

Remember how Mom always yelled, "turn down that music!" In the days of the boom box, the volume was just plain annoying. But now that the soundtrack of our lives goes straight into our ears - it can be downright dangerous.

Some European officials want to force makers of MP3 players, like iPods to lower default volume settings for a maximum of 80 decibels. That's a little louder than normal conversation - about the same as the dial tone from a phone. Right now, many players can pump out ear-splitting levels equivalent to a lawn mower, almost as loud as an airplane.

Researchers say listening at that volume for just an hour a day can cause permanent damage after just a few years. In fact, one study found as many as 13 percent of 16 to 19-year-olds already have some hearing loss.

It could take a year or two before these standards are finalized, but Mom may finally get what she wanted and a lot of us will still be able to hear her.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.