Our 'sweaty city' ranking is starting to stick

Staff WriterJune 19, 2006 

— Don't expect this pit-stained distinction to make the next visitors bureau pamphlet.

Raleigh ranks 32 on a list of the United States' 100 sweatiest cities.

And among North Carolina cities, Raleigh places highest in perspiration, according to scientists in Old Spice deodorant's research labs.

Greensboro is ranked 46, followed by Charlotte at 47 and Asheville at 82. No other Tar Heel towns made the list.

"This comes out of research we do on guys and their needs," said Jay Gooch, a toxicologist at Procter & Gamble Co., producers of Old Spice deodorants.

Using computer models, researchers predict how much sweat an average 5'10", 175-pound dude secretes after an hour standing in average summertime temperature -- 79.6 degrees last year.

In Raleigh, this musty everyman would pump out about 22 ounces of sweat in an hour -- a half-ounce more than his counterparts in Charlotte or Greensboro.

Raleigh has grown more sweaty since last year, when it was ranked 34th.

David Grekin, a UNC-Chapel Hill dermatology professor, said the research sounds legit.

Retired sidewalk maintenance worker Sonny Alston, perched on a downtown Raleigh magazine vending box, knows how the capital city can make a man sweat.

"Come on, now," said Alston, who is 58. "I sweat even when I'm not working."

So what city is atop the national sweat ranking? Phoenix, where the population of men and women could fill an Olympic swimming pool with sweat in less than three hours, Gooch said.

"I guess if you live in Phoenix," he said, "you don't need a study to tell you it's hot."

Guess it's not such a dry heat, after all.

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