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).

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 July 23, 2014 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

NASA (July 18, 2014) Apollo 11 yesterday, Next Giant Leap tomorrow, Science instruments for Europa mission, and more... Video provided by NASA
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:
from the past week

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