verse health effect. Of particular concern is the case where the effect does not become obvious during or immediately after a space flight, but instead develops sometime after the astronaut leaves active duty and is no longer provided medical care by NASA. After reviewing the history and policies of the Departments of Energy, Defense, and Veterans Affairs in somewhat analogous cases involving beryllium, nuclear weapons tests, and Agent Orange, respectively, the committee’s final recommendation was to reiterate a suggestion of the committee that authored Safe Passage (IOM, 2001c).

Recommendation 4

NASA should assume responsibility for the lifelong health care of its active and former astronauts.

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