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

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

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

To do more would constitute an unreasonable use of the police power and would result in an unjustifiable deprivation of property....without fair compensation.

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Guy Gabrielson, Jr. President of Nicolet Industries, Incorporated
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

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.