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.

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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

In summary, then, the proposed regulation could have a very serious adverse impact on my company, an impact which cannot be justified by any demonstrable benefit to our employees, to the employees of our customers, or to the general public.

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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

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

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.