EPA Science Inventory

Submarines, Spacecraft, and Exhaled Breath

Citation:

PLEIL, J. D. AND A. Hansel. Submarines, Spacecraft, and Exhaled Breath. Journal of Breath Research. Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol, Uk, 6(1):1-3, (2012).

Description:

The International Association of Breath Research (IABR) meetings are an eclectic gathering of researchers in the medical, environmental and instrumentation fields; our focus is on human health as assessed by the measurement and interpretation of trace chemicals in human exhaled breath. What may have escaped our notice is a complementary field of research that explores the creation and maintenance of artificial atmospheres practised by the submarine air monitoring and air purification (SAMAP) community. SAMAP is comprised of manufacturers, researchers and medical professionals dealing with the engineering and instrumentation to support human life in submarines and spacecraft (including shuttlecraft and manned rockets, high-altitude aircraft, and the International Space Station (ISS)). Here, the immediate concerns are short-term survival and long-term health in fairly confined environments where one cannot simply 'open the window' for fresh air. As such, one of the main concerns is air monitoring and the main sources of contamination are CO2 and other constituents of human exhaled breath. Since the inaugural meeting in 1994 in Adelaide, Australia, SAMAP meetings have been held every two or three years alternating between the North American and European continents. The meetings are organized by Dr Wally Mazurek (a member of IABR) of the Defense Systems Technology Organization (DSTO) of Australia, and individual meetings are co-hosted by the navies of the countries in which they are held. An overriding focus at SAMAP is life support (oxygen availability and carbon dioxide removal). Certainly, other air constituents are also important; for example, the closed environment of a submarine or the ISS can build up contaminants from consumer products, cooking, refrigeration, accidental fires, propulsion and atmosphere maintenance. However, the most immediate concern is sustaining human metabolism: removing exhaled CO2 and replacing metabolized O2. Another important concern is a suite of products from chemical reactions among oxidizing compounds with biological chemicals such as amines, thiols and carbonyls.

Purpose/Objective:

The National Exposure Research Laboratory′s (NERL) Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (HEASD) conducts research in support of EPA′s mission to protect human health and the environment. HEASD′s research program supports Goal 1 (Clean Air) and Goal 4 (Healthy People) of EPA′s strategic plan. More specifically, our division conducts research to characterize the movement of pollutants from the source to contact with humans. Our multidisciplinary research program produces Methods, Measurements, and Models to identify relationships between and characterize processes that link source emissions, environmental concentrations, human exposures, and target-tissue dose. The impact of these tools is improved regulatory programs and policies for EPA.

URLs/Downloads:

Journal of Breath Research   Exit

Submarines, Spacecraft, and Exhaled Breath   (PDF,NA pp, 17 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 03/12/2012
Completion Date: 03/12/2012
Record Last Revised: 09/24/2012
Record Created: 01/05/2012
Record Released: 01/05/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 240405

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB

HUMAN EXPOSURE AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES DIVISION

METHODS DEVELOPMENT & APPLICATION BRANCH