Informing decision-making about indoor heat risks to human health

Due to climate change, a growing number of people around world are facing serious health risks from exposure to heat inside their own homes, or in public or privately managed facilities, such as schools, health facilities, prisons or care homes.

Without respite and access to cooling, high day- and night-time indoor temperatures pose significant health risks, particularly for older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions. High indoor temperatures affect multiple aspects of human health, with the strongest evidence for respiratory health, diabetes management and core schizophrenia and dementia symptoms (Tham et al, 2020). Studies increasingly show that prolonged exposure to high indoor temperatures is also responsible for sleep disturbances, cognitive impairment of workers, reduced learning uptake in students, and domestic violence. The temperature thresholds at which health impacts begin to occur from indoor overheating is the topic of active investigation by many research teams around the world.

This project synthesizes evidence and support decision-making to protect people from overheating in indoor environments.v Learn more >

For more resources on heat wave preparedness, visit our HEAT toolkit.

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