Phoenix Area Heat Causes 175 Deaths

David Keindel Pexels

Phoenix had 54 days last year when temperatures topped 110 degrees F. This severe heat was blamed for over 600 deaths in the metro area. So far, the heat has caused 175 deaths this year.

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The Maricopa County medical examiner posted the deaths on its Public Heath Heat-Related Deaths Dashboard. The most recent data was from June 29. Most deaths occurred after June 20, when a massive heatwave hit the area. Of the total, 162 are “under investigation.”

According to The Guardian, the number is up 84%. 

Heat deaths often occur when the body can no longer cool itself. This can happen when the temperature is as low as 90 degrees. Many nights in Phoenix, when the temperature is well over 100 degrees during the day, it does not fall below 90 degrees during the following 24 hours. 

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Phoenix has not come up with a solution to this growing problem. Most of those who die have pre-existing medical conditions or are old. Almost all are poor and often don’t have access to air conditioning—some work outdoors when the temperature is highest.

For several years, experts have questioned when parts of Phoenix will become uninhabitable. The question is not when. The question is when it will become unhabitable for some people.

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