Climate CHIP Publications

Mapping occupational heat exposure and effects in South-East Asia: Ongoing time trends 1980-2009 and future estimates to 2050

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, Lemke B, Otto M
Year: 
2013

A feature of climate impacts on occupational health and safety are physiological limits to carrying out physical work at high heat exposure. Heat stress reduces a workers work capacity, leading to lower hourly labour productivity and economic output. We used existing weather station data and climate modeling grid cell data to describe heat conditions (calculated as Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, WBGT) in South-East Asia.

Heat exposure in sugar cane harvesters in Costa Rica

Authors: 
Crowe J, Wesseling C, Roman Solano B, Pinto Umana M, Robles Ramirez A, Kjellstrom T, Morales D, Nilsson M
Year: 
2013

BACKGROUND: Occupational heat stress is a major concern in sugarcane production and has been hypothesized as a causal factor of a chronic kidney disease epidemic in Central America. This study described working conditions of sugarcane harvesters in Costa Rica and quantified their exposure to heat. METHODS: Non-participatory observation and Wet Bulb Globe Temperatures (WBGT) according to Spanish NTP (Technical Prevention Notes) guidelines were utilized to quantify the risk of heat stress. OSHA recommendations were used to identify corresponding exposure limit values. RESULTS:

Climate change threats to population health and well-being: the imperative of protective solutions that will last

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, Anthony J. McMichael
Year: 
2013

Background: The observational evidence of the impacts of climate conditions on human health is accumulating. A variety of direct, indirect, and systemically mediated health effects have been identified. Excessive daily heat exposures create direct effects, such as heat stroke (and possibly death), reduce work productivity, and interfere with daily household activities. Extreme weather events, including storms, floods, and droughts, create direct injury risks and follow-on outbreaks of infectious diseases, lack of nutrition, and mental stress.

Climate change threats to population health and well-being: the imperative of protective solutions that will last

Authors: 
Kjellstrom T, McMichael AJ
Year: 
2013

The observational evidence of the impacts of climate conditions on human health is accumulating. A variety of direct, indirect, and systemically mediated health effects have been identified. Excessive daily heat exposures create direct effects, such as heat stroke (and possibly death), reduce work productivity, and interfere with daily household activities. Extreme weather events, including storms, floods, and droughts, create direct injury risks and follow-on outbreaks of infectious diseases, lack of nutrition, and mental stress. Climate change will increase these direct health effects.

Working in Australia’s heat: health promotion concerns for health and productivity

Authors: 
Singh S, Hanna L, Kjellstrom T
Year: 
2013

This exploratory study describes the experiences arising from exposure to extreme summer heat, and the related health protection and promotion issues for working people in Australia. Twenty key informants representing different industry types and occupational groups or activities in Australia provided semi-structured interviews concerning: (i) perceptions of workplace heat exposure in the industry they represented, (ii) reported impacts on health and productivity, as well as (iii) actions taken to reduce exposure or effects of environmental heat exposure.

Energy and human health

Authors: 
Kirk R. Smith, Howard Frumkin, Kalpana Balakrishnan, Colin D. Butler, Zoë A. Chafe, Ian Fairlie, Patrick Kinney, Tord Kjellstrom, Denise L. Mauzerall, Thomas E. McKone, Anthony J. McMichael, Mycle Schneider
Year: 
2013

Energy use is central to human society and provides many health benefits. But each source of energy entails some health risks. This article reviews the health impacts of each major source of energy, focusing on those with major implications for the burden of disease globally. The biggest health impacts accrue to the harvesting and burning of solid fuels, coal and biomass, mainly in the form of occupational health risks and household and general ambient air pollution. Lack of access to clean fuels and electricity in the world's poor households is a particularly serious risk for health.

Sustainability challenges from climate change and air conditioning use in urban areas

Authors: 
Lundgren K, Kjellstrom T
Year: 
2013

Global climate change increases heat loads in urban areas causing health and productivity risks for millions of people. Inhabitants in tropical and subtropical urban areas are at especial risk due to high population density, already high temperatures, and temperature increases due to climate change. Air conditioning is growing rapidly, especially in South and South-East Asia due to income growth and the need to protect from high heat exposures.

Calculating workplace WBGT from meteorological data

Authors: 
Lemke B, Kjellstrom T
Year: 
2012

The WBGT heat stress index has been well tested under a variety of climatic conditions and quantitative links have been established between WBGT and the work-rest cycles needed to prevent heat stress effects at the workplace. While there are more specific methods based on individual physiological measurements to determine heat strain in an individual worker, the WBGT index is used in international and national standards to specify workplace heat stress risks.

Calculating Workplace WBGT from Meteorological Data: A Tool for Climate Change Assessment

Authors: 
Lemke B, Kjellstrom T
Year: 
2012

The WBGT heat stress index has been well tested under a variety of climatic conditions and quantitative links have been established between WBGT and the work-rest cycles needed to prevent heat stress effects at the workplace. While there are more specific methods based on indi-vidual physiological measurements to determine heat strain in an individual worker, the WBGT index is used in international and national standards to specify workplace heat stress risks.

Association Between Occupational Heat Stress and Kidney Disease Among 37 816 Workers in the Thai Cohort Study

Authors: 
Tawatsupa B, Lim LL-Y, Kjellstrom T, Seubsman S, Sleigh A & the Thai Cohort Study team
Year: 
2012

Background: We examined the relationship between self-reported occupational heat stress and incidence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed kidney disease in Thai workers.