Special Issue "Prevention of Adverse Health Outcomes Related to Heat Exposure in Working Populations"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. June T. Spector
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health and School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
Interests: clean air; safe workplaces; sustainable communities; agricultural health and safety; climate change; environmental health; occupational health; occupational medicine; occupational safety

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heat exposure is associated with an increased risk of occupational heat-related illness and other adverse health outcomes, including traumatic injury and kidney injury. Certain workers who perform heavy physical labor in warm conditions are at disproportionate risk. Factors contributing to the development of adverse health outcomes from heat exposure occur at multiple social–ecological levels, and individual susceptibility, workplace controls, community and housing contexts, policies, and other factors are relevant to prevention. Heat can also interact with toxicants and can co-occur with other exposures such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5) during wildfire season. 

 

Enhanced resilience to heat is needed given projected increases in the frequency and severity of extreme heat. Promising interventions—and approaches to evaluate these interventions—may use new technology, focus on heat alone or within the context of co-exposures, address prevention at one or multiple social–ecological levels, and/or address disparities that occur when working populations with the most social and economic disadvantage experience disproportionate exposure and lack adequate means to address exposures and health effects.

 

You are invited to contribute to a unique issue that stimulates further discussion and catalyzes advances in practical, evidence-based, solutions—and methods to evaluate solutions—to prevent adverse health outcomes related to heat exposure for working populations in a changing climate.

Dr. June T. Spector
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • heat exposure
  • heat stress
  • heat-related illness
  • occupational health
  • climate change
  • prevention
  • interventions
  • practical solutions

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Occupational Heat Stress: Multi-Country Observations and Interventions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6303; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18126303 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 799
Abstract
Background: Occupational heat exposure can provoke health problems that increase the risk of certain diseases and affect workers’ ability to maintain healthy and productive lives. This study investigates the effects of occupational heat stress on workers’ physiological strain and labor productivity, as well [...] Read more.
Background: Occupational heat exposure can provoke health problems that increase the risk of certain diseases and affect workers’ ability to maintain healthy and productive lives. This study investigates the effects of occupational heat stress on workers’ physiological strain and labor productivity, as well as examining multiple interventions to mitigate the problem. Methods: We monitored 518 full work-shifts obtained from 238 experienced and acclimatized individuals who work in key industrial sectors located in Cyprus, Greece, Qatar, and Spain. Continuous core body temperature, mean skin temperature, heart rate, and labor productivity were collected from the beginning to the end of all work-shifts. Results: In workplaces where self-pacing is not feasible or very limited, we found that occupational heat stress is associated with the heat strain experienced by workers. Strategies focusing on hydration, work-rest cycles, and ventilated clothing were able to mitigate the physiological heat strain experienced by workers. Increasing mechanization enhanced labor productivity without increasing workers’ physiological strain. Conclusions: Empowering laborers to self-pace is the basis of heat mitigation, while tailored strategies focusing on hydration, work-rest cycles, ventilated garments, and mechanization can further reduce the physiological heat strain experienced by workers under certain conditions. Full article
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Article
Effect of a Simulated Heat Wave on Physiological Strain and Labour Productivity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3011; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063011 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Background: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of a simulated heat-wave on the labour productivity and physiological strain experienced by workers. Methods: Seven males were confined for ten days in controlled ambient conditions. A familiarisation day was followed by [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of a simulated heat-wave on the labour productivity and physiological strain experienced by workers. Methods: Seven males were confined for ten days in controlled ambient conditions. A familiarisation day was followed by three (pre, during, and post-heat-wave) 3-day periods. During each day volunteers participated in a simulated work-shift incorporating two physical activity sessions each followed by a session of assembly line task. Conditions were hot (work: 35.4 °C; rest: 26.3 °C) during, and temperate (work: 25.4 °C; rest: 22.3 °C) pre and post the simulated heat-wave. Physiological, biological, behavioural, and subjective data were collected throughout the study. Results: The simulated heat-wave undermined human capacity for work by increasing the number of mistakes committed, time spent on unplanned breaks, and the physiological strain experienced by the participants. Early adaptations were able to mitigate the observed implications on the second and third days of the heat-wave, as well as impacting positively on the post-heat-wave period. Conclusions: Here, we show for first time that a controlled simulated heat-wave increases workers’ physiological strain and reduces labour productivity on the first day, but it promotes adaptations mitigating the observed implications during the subsequent days. Full article
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