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01.12.2017 | Commentary | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 1/2017

Ford and Edison in a modern regulatory environment: the first-in-human trial of night-work and artificial light

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Thomas C. Erren, David M. Shaw, Ursula Wild, J. Valérie Groß

Abstract

A thought experiment places Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison in a modern regulatory environment. In a utopian occupational world devoid of night-shifts or artificial light, Ford wants to experiment with “working through the night”. To support Ford’s project, Edison offers his patented electric lamps to “turn nights into days”. An ethics committee [EC] does not approve the night-work experiment and Utopia’s Food and Drug Administration [FDA] does not approve the potential medical device as safe for use by humans. According to the EC and FDA, complex effects on circadian biology and thus safety of work and light at night are not understood. The thought experiment conveys that we should pay more attention to possible risks of work and light at chronobiologically unusual times.
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