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 our opinion, an incalculable and insupportable cost would be required to reduce emissions to the [two] fiber level....it would take considerably more than two years to attain such levels if in fact, they could be reached at all.

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GAF Corporation comment, no specific author.
03/14/1972 | 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

A two fiber standard would require that GAF reconsider the economic feasibility of continued operation....These plants provide the livelihood for more than 4,000 employees. There is little, if any, medical evidence to support a two fiber standard.

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GAF Corporation comment, no specific author.
03/14/1972 | 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

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.