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Blacks Live in Heat Islands?

By//L’Oreal Thompson

You probably already know that severe heat is a risk to your health, but what you may not realize is that minorities seem to suffer from rising temperatures more than whites.  According to a study by researchers at UC Berkeley, “blacks were 52 percent more likely than whites to live in ‘urban heat islands,” which it describes as “microclimates that can get an extra 5 to 10 degrees warmer during heat waves.”

The study also reports “extreme heat events are responsible for about one in five deaths from natural hazards in the United States.”

Researchers are calling for more trees and changes in roof and pavement requirements to help combat the intense heat in urban areas. Many cities have become warmer recently because of climate change and are expected to continue getting hotter.

Play it safe this summer and stay indoors during the sun’s peak hours (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and make sure you stay hydrated.

Are you surprised to learn that African Americans are at a heightened risk for heat exposure?  What do you do to beat the heat?