Whether you’re just looking at the moon from your back yard or watching footage of Apollo astronauts gleefully bouncing along the moon’s surface in low gravity, it looks like a pretty serene place. But new studies on moon dust show exactly how dangerous and toxic the moon is if you were to go frolicking about unprotected.
An international team of researchers have been studying the health dangers of the moon to gauge the possibility of long lunar research stays. Thus far, the only times humans have gone to the moon have been for short trips. Even then, the moon’s dust presented health hazards, as seen by the Apollo astronauts.
It turns out the research team discovered the moon can cause damage by inhalation (which is somewhat obvious), but it can also cause skin damage and eye damage.
If inhaled, the dust can cause a number of problems. First, it’s pretty sharp albeit at a microscopic scale. It can tear up the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, but it can also increase the risk of various cancers.
It can cause severe skin damage for the same reason: it’s sharp. University of Tennessee director of Planetary Geosciences Institute has been quoted saying the moon dust brought back “was so abrasive that it actually wore through three layers of Kevlar-like material on Jack [Schmitt’s] boot.”
Finally, as follows, it can cause a great deal of eye damage. And since it’s a microgravity environment up there, this stuff is floating around. And it’s not exactly like the moon is packed with optometrists, so a damaged eye could become a serious problem.
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