Hot Topics in Urban Policy and Health: In a new UHC Policy Core blog series, we’ll highlight important topics in urban policy with implications for health and health equity. We hope the series will help our collaborators learn about various policy areas and potentially spark interest in future research and practice experience on these policies. This month we start with a (literal) hot topic in health policy: extreme heat and worker protections.
Summer 2023 was the hottest on record, and 100-plus degree days are becoming more and more common, particularly in cities in the South, Southwest, and Southeast. Last summer, in Austin, Texas, the temperature stayed above 100 degrees for 69 days. In Phoenix, Arizona, temperatures in July stayed at 110 degrees or higher for all but one day. Extreme heat puts workers at risk of heat exhaustion, injury, illness, stroke and even death. This includes outdoor workers, such as those in construction, agriculture, mail delivery, oil, and gas, as well as indoor workers, such as people who work in warehouses, factories, or in food service. Read more about JPB Fellow Leah Schinasi’s research.