Opportunities and challenges for personal heat exposure research

Evan R. Kuras, Molly B. Richardson, Miriam M. Calkins, Kristie L. Ebi, Jeremy J. Hess, Kristina W. Kintziger, Meredith A. Jagger, Ariane Middel, Anna A. Scott, June T. Spector, Christopher K. Uejio, Jennifer K. Vanos, Benjamin F. Zaitchik, Julia M. Gohlke, David Hondula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Environmental heat exposure is a public health concern. The impacts of environmental heat on mortality and morbidity at the population scale are well documented, but little is known about specific exposures that individuals experience. Objectives: The first objective of this work was to catalyze discussion of the role of personal heat exposure information in research and risk assessment. The second objective was to provide guidance regarding the operationalization of personal heat exposure research methods. Discussion: We define personal heat exposure as realized contact between a person and an indoor or outdoor environment that poses a risk of increases in body core temperature and/or perceived discomfort. Personal heat exposure can be measured directly with wearable monitors or estimated indirectly through the combination of time-activity and meteorological data sets. Complementary information to understand individual-scale drivers of behavior, susceptibility, and health and comfort outcomes can be collected from additional monitors, surveys, interviews, ethnographic approaches, and additional social and health data sets. Personal exposure research can help reveal the extent of exposure misclassification that occurs when individual exposure to heat is estimated using ambient temperature measured at fixed sites and can provide insights for epidemiological risk assessment concerning extreme heat. Conclusions: Personal heat exposure research provides more valid and precise insights into how often people encounter heat conditions and when, where, to whom, and why these encounters occur. Published literature on personal heat exposure is limited to date, but existing studies point to opportunities to inform public health practice regarding extreme heat, particularly where fine-scale precision is needed to reduce health consequences of heat exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume125
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Fingerprint

Hot Temperature
Research
Extreme Heat
Health
Public Health Practice
Environmental Exposure
Body Temperature
Public Health
Interviews
Morbidity
Temperature
Mortality
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Kuras, E. R., Richardson, M. B., Calkins, M. M., Ebi, K. L., Hess, J. J., Kintziger, K. W., ... Hondula, D. (2017). Opportunities and challenges for personal heat exposure research. Environmental Health Perspectives, 125(8). https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP556

Opportunities and challenges for personal heat exposure research. / Kuras, Evan R.; Richardson, Molly B.; Calkins, Miriam M.; Ebi, Kristie L.; Hess, Jeremy J.; Kintziger, Kristina W.; Jagger, Meredith A.; Middel, Ariane; Scott, Anna A.; Spector, June T.; Uejio, Christopher K.; Vanos, Jennifer K.; Zaitchik, Benjamin F.; Gohlke, Julia M.; Hondula, David.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 125, No. 8, 01.08.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kuras, ER, Richardson, MB, Calkins, MM, Ebi, KL, Hess, JJ, Kintziger, KW, Jagger, MA, Middel, A, Scott, AA, Spector, JT, Uejio, CK, Vanos, JK, Zaitchik, BF, Gohlke, JM & Hondula, D 2017, 'Opportunities and challenges for personal heat exposure research', Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 125, no. 8. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP556
Kuras ER, Richardson MB, Calkins MM, Ebi KL, Hess JJ, Kintziger KW et al. Opportunities and challenges for personal heat exposure research. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2017 Aug 1;125(8). https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP556
Kuras, Evan R. ; Richardson, Molly B. ; Calkins, Miriam M. ; Ebi, Kristie L. ; Hess, Jeremy J. ; Kintziger, Kristina W. ; Jagger, Meredith A. ; Middel, Ariane ; Scott, Anna A. ; Spector, June T. ; Uejio, Christopher K. ; Vanos, Jennifer K. ; Zaitchik, Benjamin F. ; Gohlke, Julia M. ; Hondula, David. / Opportunities and challenges for personal heat exposure research. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. 2017 ; Vol. 125, No. 8.
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