September 3, 2019 – Fans and Heat
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:01 — 1.4MB)
Anchor lead: Does a fan help prevent heat-related health problems? Elizabeth Tracey reports
If you’re using a fan in very hot, dry conditions, you may be putting yourself at risk for heat related health problems, a recent study found. Matthew Levy, an emergency medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, explains the findings.
Levy: When the heat index, which is how our body feels in the heat, is high, we worry a lot about the physiologic stresses on people, and particularly those who are very old, very young, and those with chronic diseases. We were also concerned about the use of fans in heat related situations, particularly those lasting several days. Fans might actually in dry heat not at all cool someone down. Once the temperature gets in the 90s or higher, we then actually worry about the fans not cooling someone off. Although they might feel the air blowing on them it’s not cooling them off. :32
Levy says fans can help when conditions are both hot and humid, but the best strategy is to seek air conditioning and drink a lot of water. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.