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

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.

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GAF Corporation comment, no specific author.
03/14/1972 | 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.

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

The labels prescribed...are not needed for most asbestos-containing products since the asbestos fibers are “locked in” and cannot be released into the air.

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

To destroy or seriously cripple the asbestos industry in this country through hastily developed or unnecessarily severe regulations will benefit neither the employee, the industry, nor the country as a whole, and could quite possibly have serious economic, social, and other consequences both now and in the future.

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J.B. Jobe, Executive vice president of Johns-Manville Corporation, the largest asbestos mining company in the world.
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.