Texas Tech University

The deadly threat of a sweltering apartment

PBS Newshour

October 19, 2016

PBS Newshour - On several days this summer, Victor Sanchez’s apartment in upper Manhattan got so sweltering hot by 2 p.m. that he had to step outside for relief, despite outdoor temperatures being in the 90s. The glass on his windows was searing to the touch.

"I get dizzy; it's hard to focus," Sanchez said. During the most recent heat wave, he said his apartment exceeded 100 degrees and stayed typically in the high 90s through the night.

Jennifer Vanos, a professor at Texas Tech University who studies heat-related health issues, said high temperatures can cause a myriad of ailments, including dizziness, fatigue, dehydration, headaches and lethargy. The worst cases can result in a heat stroke, causing people to pass out and sometimes die.

The problem of heat stress extends beyond New York City. In Tucson, mercury peaked at 115 degrees Fahrenheit in June, and temperatures in Phoenix reached 118.

But a new citizen health initiative, the Harlem Heat Project, is trying to help the low-income residents who are most affected by the scorching summer heat. 

Read the full story here.