Everyone is talking about global warming, the rising of the times but who is really talking about the effects upon the human body?  With record high temperatures, when is it too hot for the human body?

The ice caps are melting.  Yachts may now sail everywhere.  Clouds are dumping at record markers.  So, when is it too hot for man to continue to live within his system and self-cool?

Every living organism has a cycle, a self-sufficient means of survival that is particular to that system, to that organism.

The human body is a keen example of a perfectly operating closed system.  A system that grows just the right amount of follicles, organs, cell growth… The human body is exemplary in its roll of survival and self-sufficiency.

So what happens when it is unable to perform at optimum levels.  We see diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer, but what about the ability to self-cool; to keep all systems running at a proper temperature?  When and what happens to our bodies?  How much can we stand, and who can stand it?

Let’s first look at the variables, such as air movement, temperature, humidity, clothing and level of activity.

The long and the short of it is, the hotter the temperature, and the higher the humidity, the more difficulty the human body has in cooling its core.  So, Australia, Iran, California, race car drivers, etc., you are in for possible body shutdowns and if you are a child or elder or not of high healthy standards, or take medications or have been drinking, you are at the highest risks of danger, including death.

The worst variables are when the air is hot and humid. In high humidity, the body is unable to perspire to cool itself; that’s why it’s often said that people would rather have desert heat, than tropical heat.

The highest temperatures the body can withstand are 140F/60C after about 10 minutes in high humidity, at that point, hyperthermia occurs.

In 1774, an experiment was performed on dogs and humans, resulting that the canine could withstand 260F for about 1 hour, and the human body could withstand 260F for 10 minutes.

Now, imagine being a soldier on a carrier in the Middle East with no wind.  It’s a wonder anyone survives the heat, let alone war.

When the body is too hot, heat stroke becomes real.  Heat stroke occurs in humans when the body’s core temperature is 104. The symptoms of heat stroke are:

Heatstroke signs and symptoms include:

  • High body temperature.A core body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher, obtained with a rectal thermometer, is the main sign of heatstroke.
  • Altered mental state or behavior.Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
  • Alteration in sweating.In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.
  • Nausea and vomiting.You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
  • Flushed skin.Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
  • Rapid breathing.Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
  • Racing heart rate.Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
  • Your head may throb.

Immediate attention to these symptoms is required.

Attention such as:

Taking immediate action to cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency treatment.

  • Get the person into shade or indoors.
  • Remove excess clothing.
  • Cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person’s head, neck, armpits and groin.

Yes, heat can be deadly.

When your body overheats, your body begins by not being able to cool itself. Then organs begin to shut down.

Now that you are more aware of the seriousness of the effects of the heat, how are we, as humans, to survive in within it.

There are “cooling” clothes, literally a tube through a shirt with a coolant aiding the circulation, available for hundreds of dollars.  MIT, recently has developed living-cellular material, but they are not concentrating on heating and cooling, never-the-less, the material somewhat exists.  There is also the water-soaked skullcaps, wristwraps and of course freezing your pillowcase for comfort, or freezing your clothing before venturing outside.

Yet, the underlying thought remains: how far can and will the human body be pushed before the majority are unable to self-cool.  When will it be recognized that over-heating is life threatening and will become a means of life for many, if it continues to be unrecognized and unattended.  When is it too hot for the human body, and what are we doing about it.  Each year thousands die from the heat, but when do we begin to pay attention?