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Space: Significant chemical pollution in the air breathed by International Space Station astronauts

Space: Significant chemical pollution in the air breathed by International Space Station astronauts

Perpetual pollutants, potentially harmful products, have been found in high concentration in the air filters of the International Space Station. The pollution that Internet users breathe in is greater than the pollution found in the average American home.

Air pollution is not only on the street or in our house, but also … in space! a Unpublished study states that concentration Chemical compounds that may be harmful Health is of particular importance on the International Space Station. It was a study of the International Space Station’s air filtration systems that showed that the dust was more polluted than the average American and European homes.

So what do we find in this space dust that astronauts breathe in? According to researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK, as well as NASA’s Glenn Research Center, USA, the list includes:

  • brominated flame retardants (RFB)

Products called flame retardants are used in the manufacture of many materials to prevent fire from coming into contact with heat. It meets fire safety regulations and is found in furniture fabrics, electrical and electronic equipment, building insulation, etc. Among them, scientists found in polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) or organophosphate esters (OPE) …

In the absence of studies to determine their risk to humans, “the strong trend indicates that exposure to PBDEs can affect neurological development,” he explains in particular Cancer Centre. Some external energy units are also subject to review for restriction by the European Chemicals Agency.

  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are present in hydrocarbons and are emitted from combustion processes. Some PAHs are classified as carcinogenic to humans.

  • perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
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PFAS is a large family of several thousand synthetic chemicals that are commonly used in applications such as stain repellents for fabrics and clothing. It has recently been talked about for its potential health risks. Also called “perpetual pollutants,” they are, as their name suggests, persistent in the environment and the human body. “The toxicity of these chemical compounds is manifold: they cause an increase in cholesterol levels, can lead to cancer, and cause effects on fertility and fetal development. They are also suspected of interfering with the endocrine (thyroid) and immune systems,” he explains.handles.

The potential effects on human health have led to bans or restrictions on the use of some of these products. However, their focus on the International Space Station did not exceed “how much focus is there on the ground”. The air inside the International Space Station is continuously recycled and filtered to remove carbon dioxide and trace gaseous pollutants. High levels of ionizing radiation can accelerate the aging of materials, including the decomposition of plastic products into micro and nanoplastics that become airborne in a microgravity environment, which may explain their presence in such large quantities.

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