Task LADTAG Lunar Dust Health Standard (Completed)
Last Published:  07/30/21 01:05:34 PM (Central)
Short Title: LDHS
Responsible HRP Element: Space Human Factors and Habitability
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Completed - Task completed and produced a deliverable
Procurement Mechanism(s):
Directed
Aims:
  1. Determine, and provide to the Office of Chief Health and Medical Officer (OCHMO), a recommendation for a time-based concentration exposure limit for airborne lunar highlands dust that will cover 6-month episodic exposures.
  2. Report finding of studies on dermal and ocular toxicity of lunar dust to Mission Operations, and to those who maintain Human Systems Integration Requirements.

Based on data from instillation and inhalation studies of pulmonary toxicity of lunar dust in mice and rats, the JSC Toxicology Group, with concurrence from LADTAG, determined that the 6-month episodic exposure limit for airborne lunar dust should be 0.5 mg/m3. This recommendation was presented to OCHMO staff and an external Review Committee organized through NASA's Research and Education Support Services in December 2013. The Review Committee produced a comment report and recommendations that were provided to JSC Toxicology Group by OCHMO in late January 2014. The JSC Toxicology Group's recommendation was revised based on input from the Review Committee, and a final 6-month episodic exposure limit for airborne lunar dust of 0.3 mg/m3 was presented to the Medical Policy Board in April 2014 and accepted for incorporation into NASA Standard 3001.

Abrasive effects of lunar soil on skin, were assessed using a bio-impedance method and have shown that lunar dust is highly abrasive.
 

Preliminary in vitro ocular toxicity screening was performed by Stillmeadow, Inc. in June 2010. Data from this study classified lunar dust as minimally irritating. These data were presented to the Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Advisory Group (LADTAG) with a recommendation to proceed to in vivo testing. This recommendation was approved, and in vivo ocular toxicity testing was performed by Stillmeadow, Inc. in July 2011. These tests confirmed that lunar dust is minimally irritating, and the dust was assigned to acute ocular toxicity category IV. The classification criteria for this category are: Minimal effects clearing in less than 24 hours; No "positive" effects at 24 hours. These data were presented to the Science Management Panel in March 2012 and published in July 2012 (BMC Ophthalmol, 2012; 12:26).

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