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

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

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

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

The labels prescribed...are not needed for most asbestos-containing products since the asbestos fibers are “locked in” and cannot be released into the air.

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GAF Corporation comment, no specific author.
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.