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Agriculture is a sector of the national economy strongly influenced by climatic conditions. A majority of jobs in agriculture are still performed outdoors, under various weather conditions. Several meteorological situations can lead to severe disturbances in the organism of agricultural workers, with high temperature, intensive insolation and elevated air humidity proving especially dangerous, as such weather conditions can lead to overheating and dehydration of the body. The work presented here compares biothermal conditions in Poland and Bulgaria from the point of view of occupational health. To this end, use was made of several indices assessing heat stress in human beings, namely: Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), HUMIDEX, Water Loss (SW), Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) and Physiological Subjective Temperature (PST). When account was taken of the occurrence of heat extremes as defined by these indices, it proved possible to distinguish categories of health risk regarded as small, increased or great. Comparison of the two agricultural regions reveals significantly more severe heat stress in Bulgaria than in Poland, in terms of both the frequency of heat-stress episodes and the number of hours (daily and monthly) associated with heat stress. This ensures that dangerous conditions for agriculture workers are primarily present in Bulgaria, rather than in Poland.
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