Health Watch -- Yard Work: Heat and Water

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.



This week on Health Watch, we've been talking about working outside in the yard. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say there are some things you need to keep in mind when the weather gets hot. The main cooling mechanism for the human body is the evaporation of sweat. Dr. Peter Snell, a UT Southwestern exercise physiologist, says you're most in danger on hot, humid days when sweat sticks to your skin. You also need to stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water with you and keep drinking as you work because by the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.

Another thing to keep in mind is the possibility of ozone pollution. On hot days, ozone levels can cause breathing problems, especially for people who have asthma. Limiting your outdoor work to early morning or evening hours can help you avoid the hottest times of day when ozone and the sun are most intense.


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May 2006

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