"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Getting Hot and Hot – 5 Essential Reads on Speed ​​and the Human Body

Launching National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) And heat.gov Site On July 26, 2022, the Biden administration called heat waves and a warming climate serious health risks. As the brand new initiative guarantees a “science-informed response” to warmer conditions, five stories from the conversation archive explain what researchers learn about heat and health.

1. It is moisture.

Heat waves might be deadly in other ways, wrote William Calvinwho teaches physiology and neuroscience on the University of Washington.

“Heat waves can result in dehydration from heavy sweating. Altered sodium and potassium levels within the blood confuse each the guts and nerve cells, and so respiratory or heartbeat can suddenly stop. It is,” he wrote.

Calvin explained that the human body was not designed to handle extreme heat with humidity. “Normally, sweat evaporates out of your skin and also you cool down. But with high humidity, the air is already saturated with water vapor, and so evaporative cooling stops. However. However, you proceed to sweat, risking dehydration.

Sweating is a method to keep the body cool. In heat stroke, sweating stops, putting the body vulnerable to life-threatening overheating.
Veronique Berenger/The Image Bank via Getty Images

2. Low tolerance to high temperatures

“The combination of temperature and humidity above which a person's core temperature begins to rise is called the 'critical environmental threshold,'” wrote a gaggle of Penn State University scholars researching the health effects of warmth: W. Larry Kenny, Daniel Vasiliou, Rachel Cottle And S. Tony Wolfe.

In a rare laboratory test of the human body's heat tolerance, researchers found that the brink is lower than previously thought. When the air temperature hovers around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), people can begin to feel the harmful effects at just 60% humidity – a better temperature and lower humidity than researchers determined in 2010. .

“Above these limits, core temperatures continue to rise and the risk of heat-related illnesses increases with prolonged exposure,” they wrote. “The results of these tests show a great cause for concern.”

3. The importance of age

According to the family physician, extreme heat is very dangerous for those over 70. Dr. Gabriel Nealwho teaches on the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

In his article on stopping heat stroke, Neal describes the aspects that make older adults more prone to heat-related illnesses.

“As people age, our body's ability to cool itself decreases, and the elderly often take medications that further impair this ability,” Neal wrote. “Additionally, the elderly may not be aware of the dangerous heat wave and may not have a working air conditioner at home, or someone to check on them.”

Four clear glasses of water with ice floating in them sit on a wooden surface.
Hydration is vital to staying healthy in the warmth.
Novart Retivity/IM via Getty Images

4. Wet or dry, hot is hot

It's the warmth and humidity, wrote John Eric Smith, an exercise physiologist at Mississippi State University.

“Hot desert climates are stressful due to extreme temperatures, while humid subtropical climates are stressful because the body has difficulty removing heat when sweat cannot evaporate easily,” he wrote. “, he wrote.

Smith added that how heat and humidity affect people will depend on aspects reminiscent of the climate where they’re, and the cooling systems in local homes and buildings.

5. Heating food

Epidemiologist at Tufts University Elena Nomova Warns that preserving food is becoming harder in a warming climate. “This is because warm, wet weather conditions stimulate bacterial growth,” he wrote.

Nomowa cited several climate-related aspects within the spread of foodborne diseases. “A growing problem is that heat waves, wildfires and severe storms are increasingly triggering power outages, leading to food shortages and food shortages in stores, production and distribution sites, and homes. Handling practices have an impact,” he wrote.