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

With no scientifically credible evidence to prove the need for such a low standard of 2 fibers per cc, it would be nothing less than complete social irresponsibility [to issue this standard].

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Henry B. Moreno, Senior Operating Vice president for John-Manville, the largest asbestos mining company in the world.
03/16/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

Any such warning label we might be required to use in connection with our products containing five percent or more asbestos content by weight would be unnecessary, inappropriate, ineffective and potentially damaging to the sales of the products and thus to the job security of employees engaged in their production.

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Louis J. Bibri, vice president and director of Employee Relations, Armstrong Cork Company.
03/16/1972 | 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

One must keep in mind that certain of the above products are consumer oriented....A Warning label would be a substantial and unnecessary deterrent to the sale of these products. Since these products are not hazardous under any conditions, they should not be labeled as such. Their demise would mean the abolition of thousands of jobs at the manufacturing, distribution, contractor, and retailer levels.

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GAF Corporation comment, no specific author.
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.