Taipei finds ways to beat the heat

The Taipei City Government announced yesterday that it will send out water sprinkling vehicles whenever the temperature reaches above 37.5 degrees Celsius to reduce the persistent heat.

Taipei's temperature reached 38.3 C on Wednesday. The record-breaking high was 38.6 C, which occurred in 2010.

Three seniors were found dead in Wan Huah District, with officials blaming the deaths on the high temperatures.

According to local media reports, the continuous heat is believed to have killed four people in Taipei so far.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) also reminded people to avoid excessive exposure to the sun, considering the high levels of ultraviolet rays.

They also advised the people to wear sunblock. The heat might subside starting Friday, the bureau said, as potential cloudy or rainy weather bring down islandwide temperatures by about two degrees.

The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) is working with the CWB to compile a heatwave holiday policy for laborers who work long hours under the sun.

While many people choose to stay in air-conditioned rooms or drink cool beverages to fight the heat, some health experts have different opinions.

Lo Pei-lin, a practicing traditional Chinese physician, was quoted by the Central News Agency as suggesting that a person may easily succumb to heatstroke when coming out in the open after staying in air-conditioned rooms for too long.

Staying in cold environment for too long and drinking too many iced drinks can interfere with a person's natural metabolism as low body temperatures reduce perspiration, she said.

Lo suggested people to stay hydrated even in artificially cooled environments, especially with lukewarm fluids such as ginger tea and winter melon soup.

People who consume too much caffeine from black tea or coffee are prone to dehydration, said nutritionist Fang Ching Yi.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, caffeine affects the fluid already circulating in the body, causing one to urinate more often than usual.

Fang said that drinking plain water is the best protection against dehydration.

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