Jan 25, 2018 in Research

Heat Stress

The issue of heat stress is of immense significance to human health, especially if people are working in a hot environment under improper conditions, for instance, without cooling systems. Typically, people fall victims to heat stress if their bodies get overheated. In this case, the following illnesses threaten human health such as heat cramps, the heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat rash, and fainting (Heat Stress).

Muscle spasms, which are predominantly painfully felt in tired muscles, are known as heat cramps. If a worker’s body cannot regulate its basic temperature anymore, he or she can suffer from the heat stroke. The body cannot get rid of excessive heat as the process of sweating stops. The heat stroke is the most severe health problem that may result into death unless treated immediately. A person experiences heat exhaustion if he or she does not drink enough or consume enough salt; a person is weak, wet, and pale. Humid and hot environments that prevent sweat from evaporating easily may cause heat rash, which can cause an infection. Heat syncope or fainting typically affects those workers who are not used to heat and simply stand still rather than move (Heat Stress).

Taking into consideration the above mentioned facts, it becomes clear that acclimatization, i.e. the process of adaption to a new climate, cannot be underestimated. The complete process of heat acclimatization lasts up to fourteen days. During the first five days, the cardiovascular function improves. The plasma volume expands till the fourteenth day of heat acclimatization, the heart rate reduces, and the autonomic nervous system adapts to heat. The initial eight days of acclimatization are characterized by the increase in the plasma cortisol level. Thermoregulatory adaptations occur during the fifth and eighth days which result in a decreased temperature of a body.Besides, during the third and ninth days of acclimatization, the losses of sodium chloride in urine and sweat decrease, which results in the expansion of extracellular fluid volume (Armstrong, 1998).


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