“ON A TREELESS STREET under a blazing sun, Abbas Abdul Karim, a welder with 25 years experience, labors over a metal bench.
Everyone who lives in Basra, Iraq, reckons with intense heat, but for Abbas it is unrelenting. He must do his work during daylight hours to see the iron he deftly bends into swirls for stair railings or welds into door frames.
The heat is so grueling that he never gets used to it. “I feel it burning into my eyes,” he says.
Working outside in southern Iraq’s scalding summer temperatures isn’t just arduous. It can cause long-term damage to the body.
We know the risk for Abbas, because we measured it.
By late morning, the air around Abbas reached a heat index of 125°F SHOW CELSIUS, a measure of heat and humidity. That created a high risk for heat stroke — especially with his heavy clothing and the direct sun.”
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