Document Detail

Heat exposure standards and women's work: equitable or debatable?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1615688     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although there is an abundant literature on the health effects of occupational heat exposure, very few authors have addressed the question of the effects of heat stress on women workers. Knowledge about the effects of work in hot environments is mainly derived from the study of "heavy" muscular activity and current heat exposure standards are based on an energy criterion according to metabolic load. Metabolic load does not reflect cardiac strain associated with sedentary, repetitive work, involving static effort. The research presented here was conducted in an industrial laundry with 11 women mangle operators exposed to moderate heat stress during the summer months and whose work activity is classified as light on the basis of energy expenditure. Physiological and symptomatological responses, work activity and ambient temperature were assessed over 3 complete work days in summer and in winter. Recorded and perceived temperature, discomfort, feelings of fatigue and symptoms of thermal stress were significantly higher in summer than in winter. Symptoms of drowsiness and musculo-skeletal aches were reported equally in both seasons. Heart rate was high in both seasons, as were calculated indices of cardiac strain. Recommended limits for cardiac strain were surpassed significantly more often in summer than in winter. It is suggested that threshold levels should be redefined to include the prevention of cardiac strain resulting from cumulative effects of heat stress and sedentary, repetitive activity, typical of many women's job with low energy requirement.
C Brabant
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Women & health     Volume:  18     ISSN:  0363-0242     ISO Abbreviation:  Women Health     Publication Date:  1992  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-07-30     Completed Date:  1992-07-30     Revised Date:  2009-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7608076     Medline TA:  Women Health     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  119-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Research-Action Group on the Biology of Work (GRABIT), University of Québec, Montréal, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Energy Metabolism
Heart / physiopathology
Heart Rate
Heat Exhaustion / etiology
Hot Temperature / adverse effects*
Occupational Exposure*
Stress, Physiological / physiopathology*
Women, Working*

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