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Protecting Workers from Asbestos

Workers can be exposed to asbestos fibers during activities that disturb asbestos-containing materials including during home or building construction, renovation or demolition.


With respect to the protection of workers from the potential harm from exposure to asbestos, the EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the Department of Labor, each have regulatory responsibility. Through regulatory authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA is responsible for establishing standards to protect the health and safety of workers who may be exposed to asbestos in the work place. Through EPA's regulatory authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA is responsible for protecting state and local employees who may be exposed to asbestos from their jobs in states without an OSHA-approved state occupational safety and health plan who may be exposed to asbestos from their jobs.

OSHA standards related to asbestos

OSHA fact sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 62 K, About PDF)

EPA's Asbestos Worker Protection Rule extends the OSHA standards to state and local employees who perform asbestos work and who are not covered by the OSHA Asbestos Standards, under an OSHA-approved state occupational safety and health plan.

In addition, state and local agencies may have more stringent standards than those required by the Federal government.

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH conducts scientific research, develops guidance and authoritative recommendations, disseminates information, and responds to requests for workplace health hazard evaluations. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services.

NIOSH Resources

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