Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heat Dangers Forgotten In The Battle Against Air Pollution

Date:
October 16, 2005
Source:
University College London
Summary:
Ozone is being wrongly blamed for many of the deaths during hot weather spells, finds a new UCL (University College London) study. UCL scientists warn that amidst all the concerns over air pollution, the more basic health message of 'staying cool when the weather is hot' may be being forgotten.

Related Articles


The study, published online in thejournal Environmental Research, modelled the daily mortality rate ofpeople over 65 (who suffer most of the heat-related deaths) in GreaterLondon from 1991 to 2002. The model included daily temperatures,humidity, sunshine and wind and assessed any effects of atmosphericozone, particulates and sulphur dioxide. UCL researchers then analysedgeneral mortality trends for days when mean air temperatures exceeded 18C.

Theteam found that when temperatures topped 18C, mortality rates in theplus-65 group rose progressively as the days grew hotter. They alsofound that mortality rose more with temperature rises in early summerthan in late summer when people had adjusted to heat. High levels ofozone and particulates tended to be associated with sunshine, and highparticulates and sulphur dioxide with low wind, both of which canincrease heat stress.

The UCL study revealed that most analyseswould attribute up to half of the mortality to the pollutants, unlessallowance was made for adjustment to heat in late summer, and forsunshine and wind. Most conventional studies have not allowed for theseeffects. The authors conclude that, contrary to earlier reports,pollutants played little part in the rise in deaths associated with hotweather in the period analysed.

Professor Bill Keatinge, of theRoyal Free and University College Medical School , says: “Ozone,particulates and sulphur dioxide have been fingered as the culpritswhen hot weather is more likely to have caused the deaths. On hot days,older people are more likely to be dying from heat stress than from airpollution. The basic message of ‘keep cool when the weather is hot'seems to be being drowned out by exaggerated concern over airpollution. Runs of hot days are particularly dangerous.

“The factthat deaths were higher in early summer rather than late summersuggests that some people were unprepared for the hot weather and maynot have taken the necessary precautions to keep cool. The heat wave inFrance in 2003 which killed 14,000 people was an unfortunate example ofwhat happens when people are not prepared for hot weather.

“EvenBritain , which has around 800 heat-related deaths in an averagesummer, had more than 3,000 in the exceptionally hot summer of 2003.Global warming may well produce runs of hotter days than have ever beenexperienced here before, and we need to be prepared for that happeningin the UK with little warning.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University College London. "Heat Dangers Forgotten In The Battle Against Air Pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051016091510.htm>.
University College London. (2005, October 16). Heat Dangers Forgotten In The Battle Against Air Pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051016091510.htm
University College London. "Heat Dangers Forgotten In The Battle Against Air Pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051016091510.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins