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10 comments   Listen   Print   article:328572:35::0
In the Media

article imageMoon dust is found to be toxic to humans

By Tim Sandle
Jul 14, 2012 in Science
It might sound like science-fiction but one day moon bases could be a reality. One thing which future lunar dwellers will need to be careful of is moon dust, as scientists have now declared it to be toxic.
A new science paper titled "Toxicity of Lunar Dust" has explored several aspects of the effects of moon dust on the human body through a series of experimental simulations.
According to Universe Today, the reason that the toxicity of moon dust and exposure to people, over a period of time, is a concern is for future situations if people were to spend a long-time on the moon. This is because dust has a habit of getting everywhere. Although astronauts would be protected whilst wearing their space suits, keeping dust out of any future lunar bases would prove very difficult.
The surface of the moon is covered with a fine, powdery dust. A few years ago, NASA released a report which showed that "Moon dust caused ‘lunar hay fever,’ problems with space suits, and dust storms in the crew cabin upon returning to space."
Popsci notes that the recent research has shown that moon dust is likely to cause inflammation of the lungs and pose a cancer risk in a similar way to asbestos. The dust is also likely to cause skin irritation.
A moon base may seem a little sci-fi, but according to The Verge, Russia's space agency Roscosmos is planning to construct a base on the moon with a view to searching for minerals. Dust may be prove to be a small, but potentially significant problem, to be overcome.
article:328572:35::0
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