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Heat waves: 75 months of work lost in India in 2017

India lost 75 billion working hours in 2017 because of the heat wave that makes outside work very difficult for lakhs, said a new study that assesses countries' vulnerability from rising temperatures.

Indian losses account for around 49% of global labor losses and are equivalent to almost 39 million people not working at all in 2017, representing 7% of the total population working in India.

Rising temperatures are a risk in occupational health, and because temperatures regularly increase above physiological limits, sustainable work becomes more difficult or impossible.

In 2017, 153 billion working hours were lost due to exposure to heat, a 62 billion hour increase compared to the losses encountered in 2000. Most losses occurred in India, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and South America that were already vulnerable.

About 80% of these losses are in the agricultural sector (122 billion lost hours), 17.5% are in the industrial sector (27 billion), and 2.5% are in the service sector (4 billion), said study published on the month November. 28 journal editions Lancet.

The findings were released a few days before the start of the UN Climate Summit in Poland where the world will complete a rule book for implementing emissions reduction targets set in Paris three years ago.

"Vulnerability to extreme heat has continued to increase worldwide since 1990, which has caused huge losses to the national economy and household budgets," said Joacim Rocklöv, a professor at Umea University, Sweden and one of the authors of the research paper.

"Those most vulnerable to heat-related risks are parents (especially in urban areas), who have weak defenses against heat and manual workers exposed to hot environments such as agriculture, construction work and manufacturing," said Nick Watts, Lancet Countdown's executive director, a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between academic centers around the world that tracks the relationship between climate change and health.

"People with pre-existing medical conditions such as neurological and psychiatric diseases, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease and diabetes are susceptible to heat waves," Watts, a colleague at the University's Institute of Global Health said. DH.

In the past, Indian weather scientists warned that heat waves are becoming more intense and often occur in the future. In 2015, a heat wave killed nearly more than 2,000 people in India.

Worldwide 157 million people are vulnerable to global heat waves in 2017 and 153 billion working hours are lost due to exposure to heat.

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