A Case for Tele-operation

ScienceDaily reports a study by the Boston University School of Medicine: Take-home’ exposure are a public health hazard. To quote from the article:

Workers in many industries inadvertently bring home toxic contaminants, endangering the health of their families.

And further:

A child may not be exposed to dangerous levels of a toxic contaminant from a parent’s workplace, from their home, or from their neighborhood, but the low levels of exposure from two or three of these sources together can be enough to harm their development, the authors note.

To make matters even worse:

Because of economic inequality, racist housing practices, and other systemic factors, […] are also compounded by being more likely to live in unsafe and contaminated housing, and in communities that face broader environmental injustices.

This study calls take-home exposure a blind spot in workplace health and safety regulation. And it should be a serious concern for any government or society that pursue a public health policy based on prevention.

As noted in the study, take-home exposure is hard to fight as it happens virtually unnoticed. So the best approach seems to reduce or eliminate the contact with dangerous substances by workers. One way to achieve is this, is tele-operation.

By placing workers at a distance from an industrial process, we can isolate them the dangerous materials used in that process. Hence the exposure is reduces to a minimum and workers cannot take, even small amounts of these, home.

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