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Technology and Non-Evident Risk – A Contribution to Prevention

Guillermo Miguel Eguiazu and Alberto Motta

This book deals with the prevention of potential non-evident risks on human health associated with technology which encloses the general knowledge of developing processes used to achieve either goods or services. The voids in technological knowledge used in the development of new technologies are responsible for hidden defects in the same. The authors suggest that hidden defects in technologies are accountable for hazards in generations of environmental factors that they call technopathogens. These factors can cause adverse effects to human health which are expressed not immediately but over years or even generations. This phenomenon is defined as technopathogeny. Since technopathogeny cannot be framed within existing disciplines related to the phenomenon such as risk assessment, risk management, technology assessment, technological genesis, environmental impact assessment, life cycle assessment or ecology, the authors coin a new term for this specific discipline called Technopathogenology.


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In this book we have commented that the Technopathogeny phenomenon was discussed with several scientists. Naturally, we must first mention our mentor, Prof. Heinrich Beck, PhD. Among other people who have expressed their opinion about our book and comments about our pheno- menon and Program we can mention: Prof. Dr. Otmar Wassermann (Germany), Prof. Per Jacobsson (Royal Institute of Technology, Stock- holm), Dr. Christian Hedinger (SAGUF, Swisse), Dr. Hector José Huyke, Prof. Dr. Carl Mitcham, (Penn State, U.S.A.), Prof. U. Beck, and Prof. H. Gadamer, (Bamberg, Germany). They have all contributed with valuable opinion and advice. In this Annex we include: I. Prof. Beck’s statement on our work. Professor Beck is Emeritus Professor of the Philosophy I Chair, University of Bamberg. II. Opinions, comments and general criticism received. III. An important evaluation by Prof. Dr. Otmar Wassermann, on our Program from 1996. Prof. Wassermann is the highest authority in toxicological-environmental research in Germany. This was an evaluation of the report that was revised and corrected by Dr. Günter Emde. There has been great progress since that year – which must be considered in order to adequately appreciate this evaluation. IV. A note we addressed to Prof. Per Jacobsson, from the Royal In- stitute of Technology, Stockholm, with whom we exchanged valuable correspondence and who evaluated our technopathoge- nological concept. V. Comments in the letter sent by Dr. Christian Hedinger, secretary of the Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Umweltfor- schung – SAGUF) to the President...

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