Extreme Heat Exposure and Occupational Health in a Changing Climate

Jennifer Vanos, Sally Moyce, Bruno Lemke, Tord Kjellstrom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Across the globe, the negative impacts of extreme heat have become increasingly apparent to individuals, policymakers, public health scientists, physiologists, climatologists, and economists. Extreme heat exposures in occupational settings can have detrimental impacts on the whole of society. Understanding the full impact requires quantifying trade-offs between what may be valued economically as part of society (work output) and human health. The heat load affecting one's body––a combination of environmental and personal factors––can significantly affect thermoregulation, particularly for those completing physically demanding work in environmentally stressful conditions. In such situations, an imbalance occurs between high metabolic heat production and the ability of the body to dissipate heat, as controlled by the environment. The spectrum of physiological impacts from heat strain implicates a worker's health, with new research connecting occupational heat stress to worker productivity and overall well-being, both of which relate to long-term economic resilience under a changing climate. This chapter provides an overview of common methods used to quantify heat stress and related health effects in occupational settings, presents insights into the impacts of climate change on health and productivity in specific regions of the world, and brings forth future perspectives and guidance for practical heat impact prevention approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExtreme Events and Climate Change
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary Approach
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781119413738
ISBN (Print)9781119413622
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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