Astronaut health on moon may depend on good dusting
HOUSTON – (May 13, 2008) – Lunar dust could be more than a
housekeeping issue for astronauts who visit the moon. Their good health
may depend on the amount of exposure they have to the tiny particles.
prepare for a return to the moon, researchers with the National Space
Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are evaluating how dust deposits
in the lungs in reduced gravity in order to assess the health risk of
long-term exposure to the particles. The findings will influence the
design of lunar bases and could also provide benefits for healthcare on
Earth, such as improved delivery of aerosol medications to the lungs.
Human Factors and Performance Team researcher Dr. Kim Prisk said there
are major questions that need to be answered. “In the big picture, the
questions are: How much goes into the lung? Where does it go? How long
does it stay? And how nasty is the stuff?” said Prisk, who is an
adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of
California, San Diego.