OSHA's Asbestos Standard

OSHA's Asbestos Standard

Over an eight-hour work day, the OSHA Asbestos standard mandates that no worker may be exposed to 0.1 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter of air. Over a half hour period, workers cannot be exposed to 1.0 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter of air. OSHA's original 1972 standard set a 2 fiber exposure limit (which the industry claimed was technically infeasible), but it proved ineffective at protecting worker health.  In 1986, the standard was lowered to .2 fibers, and then .1 fibers as a result of union litigation. The American asbestos industry collapsed soon afterwards following a wave of health and safety related litigation.

Cry Wolf Quotes

As the dust would be ubiquitous, complete vacuum cleaning of a posted construction would be a daily occurrence. This monstrous task would be a nightmare and totally unfeasible. Alternately, enclosures to capture dust are equally unfeasible.

-
Thomas J. Gryl, National Safety Director for Brand Insulations Inc.
02/11/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

We firmly believe that if we are required to label our pipe as has been proposed, we will be unable to sell our product and would be out of business within two years.

-
W.H. Beasley Manager of the Cement Asbestos Products Company.
03/16/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

A two fiber standard would require that GAF reconsider the economic feasibility of continued operation....These plants provide the livelihood for more than 4,000 employees. There is little, if any, medical evidence to support a two fiber standard.

-
GAF Corporation comment, no specific author.
03/14/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

In summary, then, the proposed regulation could have a very serious adverse impact on my company, an impact which cannot be justified by any demonstrable benefit to our employees, to the employees of our customers, or to the general public.

-
Guy Gabrielson, Jr. President of Nicolet Industries, Incorporated
03/16/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

Gauging Control Technology and Regulatory Impacts in Occupational Safety and Health

Information on multiple OSHA regulations and their costs. In almost every case, the regulations were far cheaper than the agency estimated.