Human Thermal Environments: The Effects of Hot, Moderate, and Cold Environments on Human Health, Comfort, and Performance, Third Edition, 3rd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Human Thermal Environments

The Effects of Hot, Moderate, and Cold Environments on Human Health, Comfort, and Performance, Third Edition, 3rd Edition

By Ken Parsons

CRC Press

635 pages | 149 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-04-09
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In the ten years since the publication of the second edition of Human Thermal Environments: The Effects of Hot, Moderate, and Cold Environments on Human Health, Comfort, and Performance, Third Edition, the world has embraced electronic communications, making international collaboration almost instantaneous and global. However, there is still a need for a compilation of up-to-date information and best practices. Reflecting current changes in theory and applications, this third edition of a bestseller continues to be the standard text for the design of environments for humans to live and work safely, comfortably, and effectively, and for the design of materials that help people cope with their environments.

See What’s New in the Third Edition:

  • All existing chapters significantly updated
  • Five new chapters
  • Testing and development of clothing
  • Adaptive models
  • Thermal comfort for special populations
  • Thermal comfort for special environments
  • Extreme environments
  • Weather
  • Outdoor environments and climate change
  • Fun runs, cold snaps, and heat waves

The book covers hot, moderate, and cold environments, and defines them in terms of six basic parameters: air temperature, radiant temperature, humidity, air velocity, clothing worn, and the person’s activity. It focuses on the principles and practice of human response, which incorporates psychology, physiology, and environmental physics with applied ergonomics. The text then discusses water requirements, computer modeling, computer-aided design, and current standards. A systematic treatment of thermal environments and how they affect humans in real-world applications, the book links the health and engineering aspects of the built environment. It provides you with updated tools, techniques, and methods for the design of products and environments that achieve thermal comfort.


"… a solid review of a very important topic … a key source of information for research students and others new to the field …"

—Tord Kjellstrom, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, Retired, Umea University, Sweden, Australian National University and University College London

"… the most comprehensive book available on the effects of human thermal environment on human responses and the methods for analyzing the environment, human, and clothing. … readable because of its logical structure and serviceable size."

—Hannu Rintamäki, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

"… a tour de force … Professor Parsons carefully walks the reader through the fundamental principles, followed by the integration into models, to assessment strategies, and wraps it up with higher level discussion of complex exposures and emerging concerns. His commentary along the way is very informative."

—Thomas E. Bernard

Table of Contents

Human Thermal Environments


Basic Parameters

Heat Transfer for a Cylinder

Role of Heat Transfer Theory in the Assessment of Human Thermal Environments

The Human Heat Balance Equation and the Thermal Audit

The Heat Balance Equation for the Human Body

The Thermal Audit

Expert Estimation of the Thermal Audit

Assessment of Environments Using the Thermal Audit


Human Thermal Physiology and Thermoregulation


Thermal Properties of the Human Body

Human Thermoregulation

Physiological Responses

Behavioural Thermoregulation

Body Temperature

Comfort as the Regulated Variable

Psychological Responses and Human Behaviour


Psychological Models

Thermal Sensation



Semantics, Psychological Models and Multidimensional Scaling

Mood, Aggression, Depression and Other Psychological Reactions


Measurement Methods and Assessment Techniques


Measuring Kits and Composite Instruments

Measurement of Physiological Response

Measurement of Psychological Responses

Thermal Index: An Assessment Technique

Dehydration and Water Requirements


Body Water

Dehydration Measures


Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)

Dehydration Limits

Practical Recommendations for Drinking

Drinking Too Much

Thermal Models


Thermal Models

Empirical Models

Rational Thermal Models

Do Models Work?

Hybrid Models

Computer-Aided Design

Metabolic Heat Production


Where Does the Heat Come from?

Estimation of Metabolic Heat Production

Collection and Analysis of Expired Air

The Doubly Labelled Water (DLW) Method

The Use of Tables and Databases

Empirical Models

Subjective Methods

Special Populations: Children, People with Physical Disabilities and People Wearing Protective Clothing and Equipment

The Thermal Properties of Clothing


The Two-Parameter Model

More Complex Clothing Models and the Three-Parameter Model

Testing and Developing Clothing


Determination of the Thermal Properties of Clothing

Performance Tests

Performance Trials

Clothing Specification and the Window of Application

Thermal Comfort


Whole-Body Thermal Comfort

Thermal Models and Thermal Comfort

Thermal Comfort for Special Environments

Thermal Comfort in Special Environments

Personal Control Environments

Displacement Ventilation and Chilled Ceiling Environments

Thermal Comfort in Vehicles

Outdoor Thermal Comfort

Other Special Environments

Thermal Comfort for Special Populations


Do Requirements for Comfort Apply Universally?

Effects of Acclimatisation State on Thermal Comfort Requirements

Other Factors

People with Disabilities

Babies, Children, the Sick and the Pregnant

Heat Stress


Physiological Responses to Heat

Heat Stress Indices

Direct Heat Stress Indices


Working Practices for Hot Environments

Cold Stress


Physiological Responses to Cold

Psychological Response to Cold

Cold Injury and Illness

Cold Stress Indices

Working Practices for Cold Environments

Case Study of Cold Work in a Hospital ‘Plating Area’

Thermal Environments and Human Performance


Early Studies: Factory Output and Accidents

Performance in Moderate Environments

Performance in Cold

Performance Models and Indices

Summary Models

Environmental Design for Productivity

Human Skin Contact with Hot, Moderate and Cold Surfaces


Skin Contact with a Hot Surface: Analysis of the Event

Mathematical Models of Heat Transfer

Surfaces of Moderate Temperature

Cold Surfaces

International Standards


ISO Standards

Standards in the United States

Standards in China

Standards in the United Kingdom

European Standards (CEN)

Example of the Application of International ISO Standards to the Assessment of a Hot Environment

Example of the Application of International (ISO) Standards for the Assessment of Moderate Environments

Example of the Application of International (ISO) Standards for the Assessment of Cold Environments

Weather, Climate Change and Energy Use


Meteorological Observations

Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI)

Future Development and Application of the UTCI

Climate Change

Human Thermal Environments and Energy Use

People in Extreme Heat and Cold, Hypobaric and Hyperbaric Environments, Water, Space and Extreme Sport


People in Extreme Heat

People in Extreme Cold

People Under Pressure

People in Hyperbaric Environments

People in Water

Frozen Terrain, Snow, Rain, Wind and Floods

People in Space

Extreme Sport

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3



Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety