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

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.

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

The proposed limit of two fibers...is impossible to meet....The cost of attempting to reach such a low limit would be astronomical and entirely unrealistic....The added expense would definitely force us out of business and would entail the loss of hundreds of jobs.

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John L. Rainey, President of the American Asbestos Textile Corporation.
03/15/1972 | 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

If there is no danger of the airborne concentrations exceeding those provided in Section (a) of the standard, we feel that there should be no need to alarm employees with inflammatory arid suggestive signs. Industry would be opened up to hazard pay and workman’s compensation claims, even though no special care or protection is required in the workplace.

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Bruce J. Phillips of Certain-Teed Products Corporation (an asbestos-cement pipe making company).
03/14/1972 | 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.