The Influence of the Deteriorations in Living Environments on the Health of Disaster Victims Following a Natural Disaster

Yan Wang, Shiming Deng, Lei Wang, Mingming Xiang, Enshen Long

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Published by Elsevier Ltd. Relief housings are used to quickly provide disaster victims with a temporary living place whenever there is a natural disaster. However, few previous studies on the influences of the deterioration in living environments on the health of the disaster victims in relief housings might be identified. Therefore, a study on the influence of the deteriorations in living environments on the health of disaster victims following a severe natural disaster has been carried out and the study results are reported in this paper. Field tests on the thermal environment inside relief housings and questionnaire survey on the health of disaster victims in relief housings in Wenchuan earthquake disaster settlement area were performed. The study found that the thermal environment in relief housings was very poor in summer days, and that the deteriorations in the living environment had significantly negative impacts on the disaster victims' mental state, sleep duration, appetite, and body weight. It also found that frequency of sickness, especially cold and heatstroke increased after moving into the relief housings. In addition, the number of doctor visitings by disaster victims in tents and in prefabricated houses increased by 55.4% and 44.4%, respectively. The study results revealed that it is of great urgency to improve the living environments in relief housings following a natural disaster for the better health of disaster victims.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalProcedia Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Event9th International Symposium on Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, ISHVAC 2015 Joint with the 3rd International Conference on Building Energy and Environment, COBEE 2015 - Tianjin, China
Duration: 12 Jul 201515 Jul 2015


  • Field tests
  • Health
  • Living environment
  • Natural disaster
  • Relief housings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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