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Harsh Realities: The triple threat of sun exposure, climate change, tuberculosis in the workplaces

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Harsh Realities: The triple threat of sun exposure, climate change, tuberculosis in the workplaces

In today’s world, as temperatures rise due to climate change, it’s important to stay mindful of the potential health risks associated with working under the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can not only lead to sunburn, heatstroke, and dehydration, but it can also increase the risk of developing skin cancer.

With the rising global temperatures caused by climate change, the dangers of working under the sun are becoming more pronounced than ever.

Furthermore, with the increase in global temperatures, the prevalence of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, may also rise. Tuberculosis is an airborne disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and primarily affects the lungs. Being exposed to extreme heat or sun can weaken the immune system, making individuals more vulnerable to infections like tuberculosis.

According to research by World Health Organization (WHO), 1.6 billion people of working age (15years or older) were exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation while outdoors in 2019, equivalent to 28% of all working-age people.

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“In 2019 alone, almost 19,000 people in 183 countries died from non-melonoma skin cancer due to having worked outdoors in the sun and majority (65%) were male”.

Harsh Realities: The triple threat of sun exposure, climate change, tuberculosis in the workplace

The dangers of working under such conditions extend beyond the immediate risks of heat-related illnesses; they intertwine with the broader issues of climate change and the resurgence of diseases like tuberculosis:

1. Sun Exposure: Beyond Sunburns and Dehydration

Workers exposed to prolonged sunlight face heightened risks of sunburns, dehydration, and heatstroke. However, the consequences delve deeper, with long-term sun exposure being linked to an increased risk of skin cancers. As global temperatures rise due to climate change, outdoor workers are at a greater risk, necessitating comprehensive measures to protect their well-being.

2. Climate Change: Amplifying the Heat Stress Challenge

Rising temperatures and extreme weather events associated with climate change pose a dual threat. Outdoor workers not only contend with direct sun exposure but also face heightened heat stress due to overall temperature increases. This dynamic exacerbates the risk of heat-related illnesses, emphasizing the urgent need for adaptive strategies and enhanced workplace safety protocols.

3. Tuberculosis: A Silent Resurgence

As the climate evolves, so does the landscape of infectious diseases. Tuberculosis (TB), a persistent global health challenge, finds new opportunities for resurgence amidst changing environmental conditions. The correlation between climate change and infectious diseases underscores the importance of understanding and addressing these connections to safeguard public health.

Combating the Triple Threat: A Holistic Approach

To protect workers from the combined onslaught of sun exposure, climate change, and tuberculosis, a multifaceted approach is imperative. This includes:

– Advanced Protective Measures: Implementing and mandating advanced protective measures, such as heat-resistant clothing, adequate shade, and regular hydration breaks, to minimize the impact of sun exposure.

– Climate-Resilient Workplaces: Designing and retrofitting workplaces to be climate-resilient, considering the increased frequency of extreme weather events. This involves improving ventilation, providing cooling stations, and adopting flexible working hours during extreme heat.

– Tuberculosis Awareness and Prevention: Intensifying efforts to combat tuberculosis by raising awareness, enhancing healthcare infrastructure, and promoting early detection and treatment. Climate-informed public health strategies should be developed to anticipate and counter the changing patterns of infectious diseases.

 

Neptune Prime conclude that as we confront the triple threat of sun exposure, climate change, and tuberculosis, it is crucial to recognise the interconnectedness of these challenges.

Only through a unified and holistic approach can we protect the health and well-being of those working tirelessly under the sun while mitigating the broader impacts of climate change on infectious diseases.

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