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

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

I am sure that there is no one here who would wish to increase the margin of safety in our dust standards so far beyond the point at which employee health is adequately protected that, as a consequence, we deprive of their means of livelihood the very persons whom we are trying to benefit. This would be an action foolish as it is absurd.

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

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

The major problem imposed on us by the labeling requirements of the proposed regulation, which imply to the general public an exposure to the risk of asbestosis and cancer. In products ---for example, like ordinary Asbestos-Cement Siding-Shingles --- where the fibers are locked into the cement, it is highly misleading, if not downright dishonest, to scare the homeowner into believing he is exposed to cancer risk.

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Edward J. Killian, Vice President for Manufacturing Operations, Gold Bond Building products.
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.