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Asbestos Asbestos

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General Industry For information related to general industry, see OSHA's Asbestos page
  • Construction. OSHA's Alliance Program. This is one of OSHA's Strategic Management Plan Focus Areas.


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), and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards), national consensus standards related to asbestos.

Highlighted Standards
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 OSHA Standards page.
Federal Registers Directives Standard Interpretations
Scope Asbestos removal Sampling & analysis, and characteristics of asbestos-containing materials
Building evaluation and use Worker protection Other topics
National Consensus

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

The following reference provides information on the health hazards of asbestos in the workplace. Evaluating Exposure

The following references provide possible solutions in evaluating asbestos exposure in the workplace.
  • The Asbestos Advisor 2.0. 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 appendices 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.
  • Polarized Light Microscopy of Asbestos. OSHA Method ID-191, (1992, December). Describes the collection and analysis of asbestos bulk materials by light microscopy techniques including phase-polar illumination and central-stop dispersion microscopy.
  • Polarized Light Microscopy of Asbestos

The following references provide information on asbestos controls in the workplace.

Asbestos Removal
  • 29 CFR 1926.1101, Asbestos. OSHA Standard.
    • Appendix F, Work practices and engineering controls for class I asbestos operations - Non-mandatory. Offers work practices and engineering controls for asbestos removal.
  • Asbestos NESHAP Adequately Wet Guidance. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), (1990, December). Emphasizes the need for proper wetting of asbestos-containing material prior to removal.
  • Demolition Practices Under the Asbestos NESHAP. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), (1996). Summarizes EPA-accepted work practices. OSHA requirements differ, especially regarding "nonfriable" ACM (asbestos contractors may not be aware of this difference).
  • Asbestos abatement and management in buildings, model guide specifications.3rd edition. Washington (DC): National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS); 1996, 465 p.
Additional Information

Related Safety and Health Topics Pages
Other Resources
 Safety and
 Health Topics
  OSHA Standards
  Evaluating Exposure
Content Reviewed 08/19/2008

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Page last updated: 08/19/2008