How much heat can the human body stand?


A medic loads a woman into an ambulance from EMS Austin after she collapsed from the heat while at a bus stop. — Getty Images/TNS

JUNE was the Earth’s hottest – ever. And the first week of July saw the trend continue. The surging summer temperatures made me wonder: Just how much heat can the human body stand?

Deaths from heat are pretty common, and as the world heats up, may become more so if we don’t develop a plan for extreme heat days, like the kind of warning system that usually comes before a major hurricane or blizzard. In 2019, approximately 469,000 people worldwide died from overheating, according to a paper published in 2021 in The Lancet.

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