The medical community is taking issue with new research that suggests the very clothes people wear can be the cause of severe storms.
Dr. Gary D. McAllister, an emeritus professor of trauma medicine at the University of Florida and a pioneer of the concept of rain gear said the results are troubling.
“I have never seen anything like this before,” he said.
McAllister said that even if it’s a “tough” rain jacket that comes with a “smart rain coat” that will keep the weather off you for a week or more, the rain gear may not provide the protection you need to stay warm.
He said it’s important to keep in mind that while a storm might cause a mild to moderate rain, a severe storm could cause heavy rains.
“This is a pretty dramatic event that could kill people, damage property, and have significant impacts on infrastructure,” he told CNN.
“There’s been some pretty dramatic impacts in terms of the number of deaths, and I’m not sure what the impact would be if it was more severe.”
Dr. Mcallister said some of the research may not be accurate.
He noted the study looked at rain gear in three years of weather data, but it only included data for a certain area, and he believes it’s possible the data may have been contaminated.
“The fact that you could have these very high mortality rates in the very places where these people are living is a very troubling indication of a failure of data,” he added.
“It’s not the first time that the medical community has been concerned with the lack of proper research on the subject of climate change.”
Dr McAllisters research on how the rain affects human physiology was published in the journal Science in October.
He and other experts say the study doesn’t provide definitive answers, and it may be that the study used outdated data.
But it’s not just the rain that is important.
McClister and other researchers have found that the gear that has been tested has a significant impact on people’s ability to stay dry.
“In a lot of cases, we’ve found that wearing the same gear will make you wetter, which may not seem like much,” McAllis says.
“But what you’re seeing is that when you take that same kind of gear, you get these different responses in your body.”
He added that some of those responses may be related to the clothing that is worn, but others may be a result of the environment around the wearer.
“If you’ve got a pair of pants that have a lot more pockets and a lot less fabric, you’re going to get these really big changes in how you sweat,” he says.
Mcallister believes that as people wear more rain gear they will also have more heat receptors, which are receptors that help keep the body temperature high.
“As the sweat dries out, your body gets hotter,” he explains.
“You’re more likely to have a higher temperature than you would otherwise be.
You have to be sweating very heavily to get that temperature up, so that increases the response.”
McAllis and his colleagues also found that people who are wearing more raingear tend to have lower blood pressure, which is good news for those suffering from heart disease and stroke.
McALLIS also says the study shows the importance of getting your weather gear wet.
“A lot of people who don’t wear rain gear have to wear it because they are in the rain, and the water that comes in will be very hot,” he explained.
“They have to go to work, they have to put their house on fire, they’re going through the motions, and they’re probably going to be wearing a lot.”
For more information about how to stay safe and prepare for extreme weather, visit the CDC website.