US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Back to Safety and Health Topics Page


Asbestos hazards are addressed in specific standards for the construction industry.


This section highlights OSHA standards, Federal Registers (rules, proposed rules, and notices), directives (instructions for compliance officers), standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards), and national consensus standards related to asbestos.


State Standards

Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these states adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some states have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.

Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)

  • 1926 Subpart Z, Toxic and hazardous substances
    • 1926.1101, Asbestos
      • Appendix A, OSHA reference method - Mandatory
      • Appendix B, Sampling and analysis - Non-mandatory
      • Appendix C, Qualitative and quantitative fit testing procedures - Mandatory
      • Appendix D, Medical questionnaires; Mandatory
      • Appendix E, Interpretation and classification of chest roentgenograms - Mandatory
      • Appendix F, Work practices and engineering controls for class I asbestos operations - Non-mandatory
      • Appendix G, [Reserved]
      • Appendix H, Substance technical information for asbestos - Non-mandatory
      • Appendix I, Medical surveillance guidelines for asbestos, non-mandatory
      • Appendix J, Smoking cessation program information for asbestos, Non-mandatory
      • Appendix K, Polarized light microscopy of asbestos - Non-mandatory
  • For additional information on specific state plans or other general standards, see the general industry Asbestos page.

Federal Registers

  • Assigned Protection Factors; Final Rule. Final Rules 71:50121-50192, (2006, August 24). Revises the existing Respiratory Protection Standard to add definitions and requirements for Assigned Protection Factors (APFs) and Maximum Use Concentrations (MUCs). The revisions also supersede the respirator selection provisions of existing substance-specific standards, including the Asbestos Standards, with these new APFs.
  • Technical Amendments. Final Rules 71:16669-16675, (2006, April 3).
  • Search all available Federal Registers.


Standard Interpretations


Asbestos removal

Sampling & analysis, and characteristics of asbestos-containing materials

Building evaluation and use

Worker protection

Other topics

National Consensus

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)

  • E1368-05e1, Standard Practice for Visual Inspection of Asbestos Abatement Projects. Establishes accepted practices for evaluating asbestos abatement projects
  • E2394 - 04e1, Standard Practice for Maintenance, Renovation and Repair of Installed Asbestos Cement Products
Evaluating and Controlling Exposure
  • The Asbestos Advisor. OSHA Expert Systems. Provides interactive compliance assistance. Once installed on your PC, it can interview you about buildings and worksites, and the kinds of tasks workers perform there. It will produce guidance on how the Asbestos Standard may apply to those buildings.

Medical surveillance

Medical surveillance guidance is provided in the following appendix to the OSHA Standards:

Exposure monitoring

Exposure monitoring samples must be analyzed by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) for OSHA purposes. PCM methods accurately assess fiber exposure levels, but PCM can not differentiate between asbestos and non-asbestos fibers. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) methods may be used to identify fibers, but may not be used to quantify air concentrations for occupational exposure.

Bulk sample analysis

Bulk sample analysis should be done by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). Bulk analysis results will likely apply to both OSHA and EPA regulations.

Controlling Exposure
  • Wildfires. OSHA. Includes links to OSHA fact sheets & QuickCards, related Safety and Health Topics Pages, training programs, and other resources.

Asbestos Removal

Other Resources

Related Safety and Health Topics Pages


Additional Information


  • Construction. OSHA's Alliance Program. This is one of OSHA's Strategic Management Plan Focus Areas.

*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.

**eBooks - EPUB is the most common format for e-Books. If you use a Sony Reader, a Nook, or an iPad you can download the EPUB file format. If you use a Kindle, you can download the MOBI file format.

Back to Top

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.