Outdoor workers adjust to summer heat

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As the hot sun beats down, outdoor workers see the most exposure to the heat. (KFSN)

As we get deeper into the Valley's first extended stretch of high nineties and one hundred degree days, outdoor workers are often thought of as the most vulnerable to trouble. But they may actually be better suited to handle the heat.

Out for a walk, or out on the links, we're a long distance from the comfort of spring. Even early in the morning, the effort of a few strokes is a sweaty proposition. Perspiration is our ally, though, in the fight to stay healthy in the heat.

"If it's 102, if you're not doing something to increase sweating and to put cold into you, your core temperature may go up to 102, which is a fever and that's not good," said Dr. William Ebbeling, allergist.

As the hot sun beats down, outdoor workers see the most exposure to the heat. One construction crew keeps a lot of water nearby and on their frequent breaks, the workers head straight for their coolers. They also adjust to a summer schedule, starting early and calling it a day when it's just too stifling.

"If it's real hot, we won't keep them out here. We get out of here," said Joe Perez, Fresno.

For these City of Fresno contractors, the helmets on their heads are an important safety feature, but this water jug is equally important on hot day when temperatures are going to rise up near 100. But just showing up for work may be the most important thing they can do to adapt to the heat.

"If you're working outside all the time, it'll tolerate a little bit more than somebody who comes from an air conditioned office for months on end and then all of a sudden is outside all day one day," said Dr. William Ebbeling, Allergist.

Dr. William Ebbeling say the current forecast isn't too concerning, but he warns: the heat will also deliver bad air quality. And if the temperature rises a few more degrees, none of us will be ready for extended exposure.
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