Biden's plan to address heat-related illness — 6 details

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President Joe Biden launched a federal effort Sept. 21 to address health risks associated with extreme heat, including the development of a rule on heat illness prevention to protect workers in outdoor and indoor work settings.  

The U.S. experienced a dangerously hot summer this year, and rising temperatures caused by climate change "pose an imminent threat to millions of American workers exposed to the elements, to kids in schools without air conditioning, to seniors in nursing homes without cooling resources, and particularly to disadvantaged communities," the White House said

The National Weather Service has identified excessive heat as the leading weather-related killer in the country.

Given this threat, the departments of Labor, Homeland Security and Agriculture; HHS; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will work to reduce heat-related illness, support the economy and protect public health, the White House said.

Six details:

1. The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is developing a rule on heat illness prevention to protect outdoor workers and indoor workers.

2. OSHA is also working to formalize a National Emphasis Program on heat hazard cases, which the White House said will target high-risk industries and focus on heat inspections.

3. HHS issued guidance for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that provides grants to states, territories, tribes, and tribal organizations to assist low-income households with home energy needs. The guidance gives these organizations flexibility to adjust their programs to ease the risks of weather-related events, including extreme heat.  

4. The EPA will use federal money to provide technical assistance for the development of neighborhood cooling centers within public schools.

5. The Department of Homeland Security is launching a series of prize competitions, including one focused on how to protect people at risk of heat-related illness or death during excessive heat or other disasters.

6. The CDC's heat and health tracker will issue an update to provide a nationwide heat forecast for October. 

Read more about the federal efforts here and here

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