Determination of Air Enthalpy Based on Meteorological Data as an Indicator for Heat Stress Assessment in Occupational Outdoor Environments, a Field Study in IRAN

Hamidreza Heidari, Farideh Golbabaei, Aliakbar Shamsipour, Abbas Rahimi Forushani, Abbasali Gaeini


Background: Heat stress evaluation and timely notification, especially using meteorological data is an important issue attracted attention in recent years. Therefore, this study aimed at answering the following research questions: 1) can enthalpy as a common environmental parameter reported by meteorological agencies be applied accurately for evaluation of thermal condition of outdoor settings, and 2) if so, what is it’s the best criterion to detect areas in stress or stress-free situations, separately.

Methods: Nine climatic regions were selected throughout Iran covering a wide variety of climatic conditions like those, which exist around the world. Three types of parameters including measured (ta, RH, Pa and WBGT), estimated (metabolic rate and cloth thermal insulation), and calculated parameters (enthalpy and effective WBGT) were recorded for 1452 different situations. Enthalpy as a new indicator in this research was compared to WBGT in selected regions.

Results: Altogether, a good consistency was obtained between enthalpy and WBGT in selected regions (Kappa value: 0.815). Based on the good ROC curve obtained using MedCal software, the criterion of the values more than 74.24 for the new index was determined to explain heat stress situation for outdoor environments.

Conclusions: Because of simplicity in measurement, applicability of the indicator for weather agencies, the consistency observed between enthalpy and a valid as well as accurate index (WBGT), sensor requirements which take only a few seconds to reach equilibrium and so on, enthalpy indicator can be introduced and applied as a good substitute for WBGT for outdoor settings.


Enthalpy; Heat Stress; Climate; Environment; Index

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