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 these label requirements are adopted in their proposed form, they will in our opinion destroy large amounts of the industry and eliminate thousands of jobs. and they will do this without any significant evidence that the proposed types of labels are necessary.

Fred L. Pundsack, Vice president for Research and Development for the Johns-Manville Corporation, the largest asbestos mining company in the world.
03/16/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

Minimally, these actions would generate costs incalculable, yet STAGGERING [format from original].

Thomas J. Gryl, National Safety Director for Brand Insulations Inc.
02/11/1972 | 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.

John L. Rainey, President of the American Asbestos Textile Corporation.
03/15/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard

Let me state, first, that achievement of a standard of 2 fibers per cc is not, at the present time, technically feasible in all areas of our manufacturing operations. Thus, I cannot estimate fully the total final economic impact on our business, or the total final capital investment required.

Edward J. Killian, Vice President for Manufacturing Operations, Gold Bond Building products.
03/14/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): OSHA's Asbestos Standard


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.