India lost a whopping 75 billion hours of labor in 2017 because of the heat, which makes work outside the country extremely difficult for the lakhs, according to a new study that assesses the vulnerability of countries to rising temperatures.
Indian loss accounts for about 49% of the total loss of labor and is equivalent to almost 39 million people who do not work at all in 2017, which represents 7% of the total number of workers in India.
Rising temperatures are a risk in occupational health, and since temperatures regularly increase above physiological limits, stable work becomes more difficult or impossible.
In 2017, due to exposure to heat, 153 billion hours of labor were lost, which is 62 billion hours more than in 2000. Most of the losses occurred in India, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and South America that are already vulnerable.
About 80% of these losses were in the agricultural sector (122 billion hours lost), 17.5% in the industrial sector (27 billion), and 2.5% in the services sector (4 billion), according to a study published in the November 28 issue of the journal Lancet,
The findings were published a few days before the start of the UN Summit on Climate in Poland, where the world should complete the development of a book of rules to implement the emission reduction targets set in Paris three years ago.
“Vulnerability to extreme heat has been growing steadily around the world since 1990, which leads to huge losses for national economies and household budgets,” said Joachim Röklow, a professor at Umeå University, Sweden, and one of the authors of the research.
"The most vulnerable to heat-related risks are the elderly (especially in urban areas), who have weakened protection from heat, as well as workers working in high-temperature conditions, such as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing," said Nick. Watt, executive director of the Lancet Countdown, interdisciplinary research collaboration between academic centers around the world that tracks the link between climate change and health.
“People with pre-existing diseases, such as neurological and mental diseases, heart disease, lung diseases, kidney diseases and diabetes, are vulnerable to heat waves,” said Watts, employee of the London Institute for Global Health, University of London. DH,
In the past, Indian meteorological scientists have warned that heat waves are becoming more intense and frequent in the future. In 2015, more than 2,000 people died in India.
Globally, 157 million vulnerable people were exposed to heat around the world in 2017 and 153 billion hours of labor were lost due to exposure to heat.