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

Achieving a standard of [5 fibers] will cost millions of dollars and cause a significant number of American jobs to be shifted to foreign workers. Requiring a more stringent standard and requiring unnecessarily frightening labels can have a catastrophic effects on the very people OSHA’s and the industry are attempting to protect, without really solving the human problem.

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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

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

As the dust would be ubiquitous, complete vacuum cleaning of a posted construction would be a daily occurrence. This monstrous task would be a nightmare and totally unfeasible. Alternately, enclosures to capture dust are equally unfeasible.

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