Asbestos hazards are addressed in specific standards for the construction industry.
This section highlights OSHA standards, Federal Register notices (rules, proposed rules), directives (instruction for compliance officers), letters of interpretation (instruction to OSHA staff), and national consensus standards related to asbestos.
There are twenty-eight OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.
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 Register Notices
Assigned Protection Factors; Final Rule. Final Rules 71:50121-50192, (August 24, 2006).
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.
OSHA Asbestos Standard. (January 24, 1996). Discusses clarification on three issues related to the asbestos standard: warning labels and signs, training for Class III workers, and when working at costumer locations.
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)
ASTM E1368-14 (2014), Standard Practice for Visual Inspection of Asbestos Abatement Projects. Establishes accepted practices for evaluating asbestos abatement projects.
ASTM E2356-14 (2014), Standard Practice for Comprehensive Building Asbestos Surveys. This practice describes procedures for conducting comprehensive surveys of buildings and facilities for the purpose of locating, identifying, quantifying, and assessing asbestos-containing materials.
ASTM E2394-11 (2011), Standard Practice for Maintenance, Renovation and Repair of Installed Asbestos Cement Products. This practice describes work practices for asbestos-cement products when maintenance, renovation, and repair are required. This includes common tasks such as drilling and cutting holes in roofing, siding, pipes, etc. that can result in exposure to asbestos fibers if not done carefully.
Potential Asbestos Contamination in Soft Concrete. Hazard Information Bulletin (HIB), (October 8, 1998). Alerts construction workers and employers to the hazard posed by "soft concrete", a mixture of asbestos/concrete, that was used as a 2 to 10 inch roofing layer.
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 guidance is provided in the following appendix to the OSHA Standards:
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 should be done by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). Bulk analysis results will likely apply to both OSHA and EPA regulations.
Polarized Light Microscopy of Asbestos. OSHA Method ID-191, (December 1992). Describes the collection and analysis of asbestos bulk materials by light microscopy techniques including phase-polar illumination and central-stop dispersion microscopy.
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.
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