Krysta Myers, a graduate research assistant and MPH student with a concentration in Industrial Hygiene at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, received a one-year $8,500 pilot research grant from the Nantional Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to study “Cooling Methods for Underground Miners”.
The study will evaluate the effectiveness of commercially available cooling and reflective insulating jackets that can be worn by underground miners and workers in other high heat stress occupations.
Myers cites the importance of this study for industries where workers are at high risk for heat-related illnessess such as construction, agriculture and mining. “In many cases, the geology of a mine can increase the risk of heat related illnesses. We are looking for commercial options these workers can use to reduce the likelihood of heat related illnesses.”
“The results of this study will elucidate the most effective currently available core body cooling technology to reduce heat stress risk in those working in hot environments, like underground miners,” said Eric Lutz, PhD, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health is the principal investigator.
Myers is working with Dr. Lutz and Rustin Reed, MPH, a doctoral candidate in industrial hygiene. She used part of the research to complete her undergraduate internship credits. She is expected to graduate in 2016.