Analysis of the asbestos permissible exposure level threshold standard
Peterson, Michael W.
Carrick, Paul M.
Gates, William R.
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This thesis examines the reasoning of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) decision to set stringent exposure levels for airborne asbestos in the work place. Technical recommendations from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Bureau of Mines, and the American conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists were presented to OSHA for consideration. OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set industry standards for permissible exposure levels (PEL) of airborne asbestos. Exposure to asbestos poses a health hazard to workers, their families, and consumers of asbestos products. Because it poses an unreasonable risk to human life, OSHA has repeatedly lowered the Permissible Exposure Levels and the EPA will ban the manufacture, importation, processing and commercial distribution of asbestos containing products from the United States in phases by 1997. These decisions may have been made too hastily because of the long latency (15-40 years) period before cancer develops, and the added risks that smoking imposes
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