Thermal Environment, climate and health
Research within the area of thermal environment, climate and health involves studying the effects of hot, moderate and cold environments on health, comfort and work capacity, developing strategies to reduce heat and cold stress, as well as testing how various protective clothing and equipment function in extreme environments.
Aerosol and Climate Laboratory
The research within the area of thermal environment, climate and health is largely rooted in the Aerosol and Climate Laboratory at IKDC, where two climatic chambers can simulate environments with temperatures ranging from +50 °C to -25 °C, humidity from 20 % to 80 %. The lab also has the equipment to conduct thermal physiological studies, and thermal manikin measurements for example maximum oxygen uptake test (Max VO2 - link opens a wmv video file).
The Aerosol and Climate Laboratory page provides tools for calculation of clothing insulation requirement (IREQ) in cold environments, Wind Chill Temperature (WCT), Predicted Heat Strain (PHS) in hot environments, as well as calculations for PMV and PPD – indices for thermal comfort and dissatisfaction in moderate environments.
Research in focus
Research in focus within the area of “thermal environment, climate and health”:
- The impact of climate change on human health, work capacity and well-being. Development of early warning systems for extreme heat and cold. Ongoing research:
- Thermal climate and thermal comfort in indoor environments and working life
- Identification, evaluation and prevention of thermal risk factors, heat and cold stress in various environments
- Design and testing of personal protective equipment
- Development of measuring methods for analysis of thermal environments and thermodynamic conditions
- Prevention of slip and fall accidents, testing of friction requirements and gait balance