Astronautical Hygiene - A New Discipline to Protect the Health of Astronauts Working in Space

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J. R. Cain (2011), JBIS, 64, 179-185

Refcode: 2011.64.179
Keywords: Astronautical hygiene, new discipline, hazards, exposure, risk assessment, control measures

This paper outlines the rationale for a new scientific discipline namely astronautical hygiene. Astronautical hygiene is an applied science that utilises a knowledge of space toxicology, space medicine, astronautics, occupational hygiene etc. to identify the hazards, assess the exposure risks to health, and thereby determine the measures to mitigate exposure to protect the health of astronauts during living and working in space. This paper describes the nature of the hazards (i.e. physical, chemical, microbial and psychological) encountered during space flight. It discusses exposure risk assessment and the use of sampling techniques to assess astronaut health risks. This paper then discusses the measures used to mitigate exposure to the exposure hazards during space exploration. A case study of the application of the principles of astronautical hygiene to control lunar dust exposure is then described.

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