Students create cooling vests to protect Gulf workers from the heat

In order to protect Gulf construction workers from the heat, students at the University of Toronto have designed special vests with a cooling effect.

Aegis, an organisation established by the students, aims to prevent heart damage among construction workers through the use of cooling vests.

Last summer the Aegis team piloted the vests on a construction site in Qatar.

According to the release, health data collected on site highlighted that workers were enduring substantial heat stress and showed the vests to be a strong way of reducing these numbers. Through this initial testing, substantial drops in the number of workers with high blood pressure and workers’ average body temperatures were witnessed.

The vests work simply: they are activated through submersion in water. Once exposed to water, the vests absorb the heat, the fabric evaporates and the wearer is cooled.

Water proof inner lining also prevents water in the cooling fabric from wetting the wearer.

“Due to the extreme heat in the region we have made this core more absorbent than other vests on the market to ensure a lengthy cooling period,” said the release by Aegis.

After launching efforts in Qatar, Aegis is looking to the UAE. As explained in the release, students are now working to launch a 200-vest program in partnership with Emirates NBD.

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