Hoosier health affected by heat and air quailty
High temperatures create dangerous health risks, so it's essential to stay cool and breathe clean air. Here are some tips to help you do that.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 02:36
Photo: Karla Akins
According to the National Weather Service, Indiana is experiencing the the third hottest summer on record and the longest heat streak since 1936. Numerous heat-related illnesses in the last 16 days have resulted from the thermometer's rise above 90 degrees in the Indianapolis area. It's important to find ways to stay cool during this hot weather. Swimming with friends now meets a health need in that it keeps the body cool as water evaporates from the body.
No matter your age or health condition, overexposure to direct sun or high temperatures can cause severe illnesses quickly. Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include fatigue, headaches, dizziness and agitation. Pets can have organ failure in mere minutes depending on the size of the pet, the shape of the nose, and the type of coat. (The dog pictured above swam in the pool in between playing fetch in order to keep cool.)
The quality of air is also affected by the heat. Indianapolis officials are expected to issue Knozone Action Day Alerts because the pollutants are expected to exceed federal standards. On these days, it may be difficult for children, seniors and those with asthma or other medical problems to breathe.
Keep the temperature and pollution levels from getting higher by:
Carpooling and combining errands
Using public transportation
Waiting to fill gas tanks and mow the lawn after 6 p.m.
Reducing the use of chemicals or paint that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Not burning trash or leaves
Turning lights off when not in use
The City of Indianapolis offers a free e-mail notification service to alert those interested that a Knozone Action Day has been called.
Photos: Karla Akins
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