In English

• 10.09.2018

About the use of chemicals

The word ‘chemical’ is actually rather pleasant-sounding. Its first part brings to my mind a city in northern Finland, in other words Kemi. But the word nevertheless has a negative ring to it, because in many occupations people are still exposed to chemicals. This past summer workers who were exposed to chemicals were additionally subjected to the sweltering hot weather. One can only imagine what for instance the demolition of asbestos structures must have been, as well as other jobs requiring the wearing of heavy protective garments, when the temperature outside was around 30 degrees.

Most of the chemical exposure takes place in work with reinforced plastics and in the demolition of buildings. Enterprises where chemicals are handled continually are usually able to control the hazards they pose. In this issue of Telma, such enterprises are for example Neste and Kiilto, whose entire business is based on chemicals. On the other hand, after reading the articles in this journal, it seemed almost unbelievable that many enterprises don’t have material safety data sheets, or even lists of the chemicals they use. This could be called lack of responsibility, if not downright negligence.

Most of the chemical exposure takes place in work with reinforced plastics and in the demolition of buildings.

New working methods and technologies bring new risks. Protection against these risks should be in order at the latest when a new working method or technology is taken into use. When we speak of safety at work, perhaps the first risks that come to mind are not the harmful particle emissions that are released in connection with 3D printing. Furthermore, the popular recycling of goods and materials may cause surprises to those who handle recycled materials.

I believe that, as a reader, you will again get ideas from Telma’s articles. When reading the journal, I thought of how robotics might be utilized for example, not only in care services, but increasingly in the handling and manufacture of chemicals. Robots tolerate even particulates or microparticles better than humans. And chemicals aren’t afraid of robots – contrary to many old people.

Kenneth Johansson

Chairman of the Editorial Board

kenneth.johansson@tsr.fi

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