Moon dust could be toxic to humansJuly 15th, 2012 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS
London, July 15 (IANS) A layer of thick, ultrafine dust on lunar surface could prove toxic for humans, increasing the risk of various cancers, similar to breathing asbestos and volcanic ash, says a study.
Researchers from the University of Tennessee, referring to Neil Armstrong’s first steps onto the moon, said: “The Apollo astronauts reported undesirable effects affecting the skin, eyes and airways that could be related to exposure to the dust that had adhered to their space suits during their extra vehicular activities and was subsequently brought into their spacecraft.”
Humans have only spent, two or three days on the moon in total only in spaceships or airtight suits. But with long-term exposure, the team says that inhalation would be harmful - even when wearing protective gear, as dust never seems to leave them, the Daily Mail reported.
Inside the lungs the super-fine, sharp-edged lunar dust could damage the respiratory and cardiovascular system, causing airway inflammation and increasing the risks of various cancers.
The dust-subjected to eons of ultraviolet radiation, would penetrate deep into the lungs, and micro-gravity would only help in bringing the dust deep into the lungs.
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Tags: airway inflammation, apollo astronauts, cardiovascular system, daily mail, eons, inhalation, lunar dust, lunar surface, micro gravity, moon dust, neil armstrong, protective gear, space suits, spaceships, study researchers, term exposure, ultraviolet radiation, undesirable effects, university of tennessee, volcanic ash