Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older firefighters may be more resilient to working in heat

Date:
January 8, 2014
Source:
American Industrial Hygiene Association
Summary:
A new study finds that older firefighters may show signs of long-term heat adaptation due to repeated occupational heat stress exposure.

Older firefighters who are chronically exposed to heat stress on the job could be more heat resilient over time. A recent study published in the December issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) found that older firefighters may be able to tolerate more challenging or arduous work environments before they feel affected by the heat, compared to non-heat-exposed workers who would need to stop work prematurely.

"We found that the firefighters experienced reduced subjective feelings of thermal and cardiovascular strain during exercise compared to the non-firefighters, potentially indicative of greater heat resilience in firefighters due to the nature of their occupation," said study investigator Glen P. Kenny, PhD, a professor at the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.

The researchers examined a group of older, physically active non-firefighters and firefighters, approximately 51 years old, during intermittent exercise in two heat stress conditions, to investigate the potential thermal, cardiovascular and hydration effects of repeated occupational heat stress.

While Kenny and his colleagues found no differences in the level of thermal and cardiovascular strain between the older heat-exposed firefighters and non-heat-exposed older workers, the non-heat-exposed workers felt more heat stressed relative to the older firefighters and felt that the work performed was physically more challenging.

"If you have older workers who work in the heat, they are in a better position to handle working in the heat as compared to their non-heat-exposed counterparts," said Kenny. "If they can better handle the heat stress, they can better perform challenging tasks without putting themselves at greater risks of injuries caused by impairments in mental function, alertness, concentration, motor dexterity and coordination."

Prior to this study, physiological strain had been examined in young and middle-aged firefighters during live firefighting and simulated drills, but the responses of older and more experienced firefighters had not previously been investigated.

"Our discovery is especially important given recent findings that aging can decrease an individual's ability to dissipate heat and therefore work in hot environments," added Kenny.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Industrial Hygiene Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Heather E. Wright, Joanie Larose, Tom M. McLellan, Scott Miller, Pierre Boulay, Glen P. Kenny. Do Older Firefighters Show Long-Term Adaptations to Work in the Heat? Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 2013; 10 (12): 705 DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2013.821574

Cite This Page:

American Industrial Hygiene Association. "Older firefighters may be more resilient to working in heat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108112652.htm>.
American Industrial Hygiene Association. (2014, January 8). Older firefighters may be more resilient to working in heat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108112652.htm
American Industrial Hygiene Association. "Older firefighters may be more resilient to working in heat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108112652.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. 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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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