Australia's live venues may soon have to distribute earplugs and place warning signs if their music is deemed to be too loud.

The country's Senate committee has put forward the recommendations and many others in an extensive report into the country's "hearing health."

The committee found that loud music pumped through venues and portable music players are likely factors in hearing loss, particularly among young people.

In its new report, issued today, the committee recommended that the Department of Health and Ageing work with the appropriate agencies and authorities to devise recreational noise safety regulations for those entertainment venues where "music is expected to be louder than a recommended safe level."

Those venues would be required post prominent notices warning patrons that the sound levels may cause hearing damage, and their operators make earplugs freely available to all guests.

The committee also advocated the Australian Government fund a research study into the long-term impacts of recreational noise, particularly exposure to personal music players.

"Whilst the proof that personal music players cause permanent hearing loss is ambiguous for now," the report notes, "expert opinion is that the potential is there [for hearing loss] if devices are played loud enough and over a long enough period of time."

The committee found that hearing loss cost the country more than $11.75 billion Australian ($10.5 billion) in lost wages and productivity in 2005, or 1.4% of the country's then Gross Domestic Product.

"Hearing health is a mainstream health issue which touches the lives of most Australians in one way or another, yet as a public health issue it is not ranked as a national health priority," the committee explains.

The committee reported that one in six Australians suffers from some degree of hearing loss, and that figure is forecast to grow to one in four by 2050.