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

We are concerned, not only about the substantial loss of business to us, but also the loss of jobs among thousands of mechanics who install such products.

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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

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

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.

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John L. Rainey, President of the American Asbestos Textile Corporation.
03/15/1972 | 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.