Heat Stress

A person’s thermal comfort is directly related to the entire body. Problems caused by heat are in certain jobs, such as in foundries, foundries, brick and glass factories, power plants, furnaces, laundry, are very often.

Each time the body is subjected to excessive heat, it suffers physical changes: sweating, increased pulse and a high internal temperature.

The human body is constantly subjected to stress because of heat, alongside other heat illnesses. Fortunately, it has very fine adjustment mechanisms to temperature variations coming from the environment. During unbearable heat, some people react violently and even faint. Also, the transition from warm to cold causes certain disorders such as kidney disease or diabetes.

The human body is a complex cybernetic system, showing a great willingness to adapt and adjust, to the multitude and variety of types of stress being put on. Basically, if its activity is analyzed in terms of nervous system reactions central nervous system and the endocrine-metabolic manifestations of adaptive type, it is found that the most important categories of stress are given by light-dark variation in 24 hours (circadian adaptation) and heat stress. An important feature is that the request for thermoregulatory heat type is permanent, whether thermal variations are external manifestations of the body or internal (the body). To protect itself, the body is equipped with extremely fine control mechanisms of adaptation. Coming from environmental temperature variations, such as increased air temperature in hot days or cold winter days or when there is moisture, it triggers alert mechanisms of complex biological adaptation, with the control center in hypothalamus. The same is true for thermal variations, as in fever.

If the body temperature falls below the tolerated, it triggers biochemical mechanisms that enhance the metabolic burning to prevent body cooling. On the contrary, in case internal temperature rises above the average allowed, it activates the heat transfer from the skin to the external environment, by direct transfer or evaporation.

Body interface with the environment is the skin. This is the “envelope” that defends the body against different types of aggression (eg mechanical, chemical, etc.). Including heat factor. So the thermal stress to the skin induces termoreceptors chain to adapt and protect the body, all of these complex biological responses to physical and chemical type are included in thermoregulatory homeostasis. Exposure to heat causes peripheral vasodilation. So some people react violently with impaired thermoregulation and can experience panic followed by fainting. This explains why many people fall on the street because of high unbearable temperatures.

Therefore, until the arrival of medical personnel to take the case, it is recommended as first aid measures to apply a cold compress on the forehead.

Sweating is the loss of fluids and salts (in hot days body can lose 2 to 5 liters) and therefore should be enough moisture to compensate for fluid losses. Specialists recommended in hot days of summer to drink 4 liters of fluid (plain water, sparkling water, tea, juices) to compensate for these losses. Children and the elderly have poor thermoregulatory adaptive systems and therefore there is risk of pathological conditions such as heat stress or strong dehydration. Heat stress is manifested by dizziness, headache, nausea and the sensation of fainting. Dehydration is installed by the loss of large amounts of body fluids. For prevention, we recommend avoiding midday sun exposure (especially children and elder persons), wearing clothing made of cotton, not plastic, which allows the skin to “breathe” and reduce the physical demands.

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