The classic concepts of environmental sanitation have become an integral part of our way of life in this age. The advent of the space age requires an expansion of these concepts. We are faced today with phenomenal advances in transportation and communication. Are our sanitary surveillance techniques and regulations, basically geared for parochial communities, adequate to maintain the public health in a world served by supersonic carriers? Is our knowledge and training sufficient to meet the demands for ultraclean environments imposed by advances in medicine and industrial technology? We must be ready to consider such new problems as cleaning and disinfecting the hardware and materials being developed for space travel and exploration. We must gain a perspective of the environmental health problems of people confined in sealed capsules for long time periods. We must start thinking about the control of exotic and as yet undiscovered disease agents from other planets, the control of microbial dissemination from our world to others, the logistics of interplanetary quarantine. In addition to all of this, we must continue to provide the inhabitants of this world with a safe, clean and healthy environment.

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Author notes

1Presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Milk and Food Sanitarians, Inc., at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 24–27, 1962.