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Revision as of 13:13, 12 July 2010

Cold refers to the condition or perception of having low temperature; it is the absence of heat or warmth. People intuitively associate various notions and images with cold, such as ice and the color blue.

The coldest theoretically possible temperature is absolute zero, which is 0 K on the Kelvin scale, a thermodynamic temperature scale, and −273.15 °C on the Celsius scale.

Absolute zero is also 0 °R on the Rankine scale, another thermodynamic temperature scale, and −459.67 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale.

What are some effects of cold on your body?

  • Dehydration. You can get dehydration from cold as easily as you can from heat.
  • Numbness. It’s usually in your extremities—fingers, toes, ears, nose tip, and cheeks.
  • Shivering. This is the body’s way of trying to warm up.
  • Frostbite. Parts of your body freeze, especially your extremities. The first warning sign may be a sharp, prickly sensation—but if the affected body parts are already numb, you won’t feel anything so there won’t be any warning. Your skin may turn another color (red, white, gray, purple, or black, depending on the severity). Skin can also peel off. You can get a permanent injury, like loss of a body part.
  • Immersion foot (trenchfoot). This is damage you get if your skin is exposed to cold and dampness too long. The skin doesn’t actually freeze, but you can get swelling, tingling, itching, loss of skin, or skin ulcers.
  • Hypothermia. This is the most serious effect of cold. Your body can’t maintain its normal temperature (98.6° F). Symptoms include low body temperature, violent shivering, slow or slurred speech, drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, a weak and irregular pulse, or even unconsciousness. If not treated right away, you can die.

Also see;


  • Wikipedia Cold [1]
  • Labor Occupational Health Program, School of Public Health, [2]

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