Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

In space, headaches are an occupational hazard

Date:
May 1, 2014
Source:
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Summary:
Headaches in astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are attributed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data on carbon dioxide levels and headaches reported by ISS crew members between 2001 and 2012. The results suggested that headaches were more frequent during periods of higher carbon dioxide levels.

Headaches in astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are attributed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), reports a study in the May Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Related Articles


Led by Dr Jennifer Law, Flight Surgeon at NASA Johnson Space Center, the researchers analyzed data on CO2 levels and headaches reported by ISS crew members between 2001 and 2012. The results suggested that headaches were more frequent during periods of higher CO2 levels.

For each 1 mm Hg (millimeter of mercury) increase in CO2, the odds of headache reported by crew members doubled. Headaches were less frequent in older crew members and those with more days in flight.

Higher CO2 levels also appeared related to other symptoms, such as sleep problems, fatigue, and irritability. After steps were taken to keep CO2 levels on the ISS at 4 mm Hg or less, the risk of headache decreased from about 3.3 to 1.6 percent per week.

To keep the risk of headache below one percent, the average CO2 level on the ISS would need to be less than 2 mm Hg -- which isn't practical using current systems. The CO2 level on Earth at standard pressure is 0.3 mm Hg, although healthy people can tolerate higher levels of CO2 without adverse effects.

The new results suggest that headache can occur at CO2 levels well below those historically regarded as safe for space flight. The study supports current efforts to maintain CO2 levels on the ISS at or below 4 mm Hg. Meanwhile, NASA researchers are performing further studies to assess the health effects of short- and long-term CO2 exposure, as well as to set new safety limits and hardware requirements.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. "In space, headaches are an occupational hazard." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501100922.htm>.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (2014, May 1). In space, headaches are an occupational hazard. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501100922.htm
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. "In space, headaches are an occupational hazard." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501100922.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA Holds Memorial to Remember Astronauts

NASA Holds Memorial to Remember Astronauts

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) NASA is remembering 17 astronauts who were killed in the line of duty and dozens more who have died since the agency&apos;s beginning. A remembrance ceremony was held Thursday at NASA&apos;s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins