Dubai: Few are as familiar with the UAE’s scorching summer heat than the country’s labourers who trudge tirelessly through their daily work regimens, braving everything that Old Sol can dish out.
Temperatures often range between 42 to 47 degrees Celsius and humidity between 50-95 per cent in the internal and coastal areas, making each work day a major challenge even for the toughest workers on construction sites.
To accompany midday breaks for workers required by the government, a Dubai company is distributing 2,000 ice cool scarves to labourers in keeping with the spirit of giving this month.
Ice cool scarves are designed in the UAE and manufactured in China to be worn as a bandana or around the neck.
It must be dipped in room temperature water (cold water preferred) for 30 minutes before use and it can keep one person ‘cool’ for four to five hours.
When it’s no longer cool, the item is dipped again in cold water again for 10 minutes before reusing it.
“We gave away these ice cool scarves for free to labourers because they are the ones who are in the heat all the time. This is just a small contribution from our side,” Mohammad Ali, managing director of Right General Trading, told Gulf News.
“It’s a revolutionary product in that it absorbs and emits cool temperature. It reduces body temperature by one to two degrees Celsius,” Ali said, adding that the scarf does not emit cool air the way air-conditioning units do.
It only provides cooling effects to the body, thereby regulating body heat.
While the scarves can help reduce body temperature to a certain degree, doctors warned that it should not be used without any other precautions when outdoors.
“This might help in keeping them cool, but they should not be carried away as using it will not protect them from heat stroke totally,” Dr Suresh Menon, Medical Director and Chief Internal Medicine Specialist at Lifeline Hospital, told Gulf News.
“Heat stroke does not only involve ambient temperature but also shows how your body reacts and how much water your body can retain.
“Dehydration could set in if you lose too much water as your body tries to regulate your body temperature. Covering your head alone is therefore not enough,” Dr Menon added.
For a person who is experiencing heat hyperpyrexia or high fever due to extreme heat, traditional treatments include cooling the body externally. Ice cool scarf can provide immediate relief.
“If the body temperature is very high, even a drop by just one degree Celsius will help a lot. But the person will still need immediate medical attention,” said Dr Kassim Rawther, an internal medicine specialist.