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 March 28, 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 March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) The Asteroid Retrieval Mission announced this week bears little resemblance to its grand beginnings. Even NASA scientists are asking, "Why bother?" Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Supermassive Blackhole Detector Ready for Business

Supermassive Blackhole Detector Ready for Business

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Construction of the world&apos;s largest and most powerful observatory designed to detect and analyze gamma rays has been completed in Mexico. Gamma ray particles are considered the most energetic in the universe and scientists hope to use the observatory to learn more about the supernovas and black holes that produce them. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Blasts Off Carrying U.S. Air Force GPS Satellite

Rocket Blasts Off Carrying U.S. Air Force GPS Satellite

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) A U.S. Air Force GPS IIF-9 satellite launches aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket into semi-synchronous orbit. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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