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

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

The proposed regulations would also produce a loss in sales of at least $400 million because of the labeling requirements and the shut down of operations where two fibers [are] technologically unfeasible. A number of companies have already indicated that they do not believe a two-fiber standard is feasible in many operations, and that if such a standard is promulgated, they will close down those operations immediately rather than spend millions of dollars in a vain attempt to achieve the unachievable. The loss of jobs will be substantial.

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Albert H. Fay, vice-president of Gold Bond Building products division of National Gypsum Company. President of the Asbestos Information Association.
03/15/1972 | 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.