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Heat strain in cold

Affiliation

  • 1 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Oulu, Aapistie 1, FI-90220 Oulu, Finland.
  • PMID: 16922186
  • DOI: 10.2486/indhealth.44.427

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Heat strain in cold

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Authors

Affiliation

  • 1 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Oulu, Aapistie 1, FI-90220 Oulu, Finland.
  • PMID: 16922186
  • DOI: 10.2486/indhealth.44.427

Abstract

In spite of increased environmental cold stress, heat strain is possible also in a cold environment. The body heat balance depends on three factors: environmental thermal conditions, metabolic heat production and thermal insulation of clothing and other protective garments. As physical exercise may increase metabolic heat production from rest values by ten times or even more, the required thermal insulation of clothing may vary accordingly. However, in most outdoor work, and often in indoor cold work, too, the thermal insulation of clothing is impractical, difficult or impossible to adjust according to the changes in physical activity. This is especially true with whole body covering garments like chemical protective clothing. As a result of this imbalance, heat strain may develop. In cold all the signs of heat strain (core temperature above 38 degrees C, warm or hot thermal sensations, increased cutaneous circulation and sweating) may not be present at the same time. Heat strain in cold may be whole body heat strain or related only to torso or core temperature. Together with heat strain in torso or body core, there can be at the same time even cold strain in peripheral parts and/or superficial layers of the body. In cold environment both the preservation of insulation and facilitation of heat loss are important. Development of clothing design is still needed to allow easy adjustments of thermal insulation.

In spite of increased environmental cold stress, heat strain is possible also in a cold environment. The body heat balance depends on three factors: environmental thermal conditions, metabolic heat production and thermal insulation of clothing and other protective garments. As physical exercise may …