• Health experts say fans could kill you in excessive heat

    By: Siobhan Riley

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Fans may not be the best option in excessive heat, according to health experts. Some say it could even kill you – especially with the heat advisory that in effect right now.

    Imagine being in your home with no working air conditions. That’s the reality for a disabled woman in Midtown.

    “I was contemplating on going to the emergency room because my breathing was very short,” said Gwennett Gammons, 62.

    Gammons is recovering from a stroke she had in April. To make matters worse, both of her air condition units broke two months ago.

    “By me being sick and disabled, it has been so hot... I couldn’t even rest,” Gammons said. “It’s very hard when you have a breathing problem. It’s really hard because I have a breathing machine.”

    Now the only tool she has to rely on is a fan to keep cool inside her Orange Mound home.

    Health experts with the Kansas City Health Department said fans are only good to a point – but not in excessive heat like what Gammons is dealing with right now.

    “I have no other choice.”

    Health experts said you’re more likely to die with a fan on than without because fans don’t remove humidity but do move air over your skin causing it to evaporate moisture more quickly.


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    “I got to have some kind of air, I couldn’t stay in here in this house,” Gammons said.

    Health experts told FOX13 in excessive heat like this, a fan is similar to an oven, the only difference is you’ve added a fan.

    We reached out to the Shelby County Health Department about this study, we’ll let you know when they respond.

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