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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Clifton, Robert A.
Asbestos,   pp. 169-180 PDF (956.2 KB)


Page 169

  169Asbestos 
By Robert A. Clifton' 
 Shipments of asbestos in the United States increased less than 1% but established
another record high in 1972. There was no readily apparent single reason
that could explain the increased demand for asbestos. Imports were 8% above
1971 levels. 
The world's largest producer, Canada, increased shipments to its largest
market, the United States, by 10%; its total shipments were 3% over the 1971
total. 
Legislation and Government Programs. 
—The Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) had not published its asbestos emission standards by yearend, but their
latest proposal recognized the adequacy of Bureau of Mines controls in mines
and mills and would only control visible esnissions from mill effluent gases.
In 1972 the General Services Administration (GSA) reduced government inventories
by disposing of 1,040 short tons of amosite, 11,478 tons of crocidolite,
and 656 tons of chrysotile. The strategic grades of asbestos formerly under
the Rhodesian Sanctions began to appear again on the U.S. market. 
1 Chemist, Division of Nonmetallic Minerals. 
Table 1.—Salient asbestos statistics 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
United States: 
Production (sales) short tons.. 
 Value thousands_ 
120,690 
$10,406 
125,936 
$10,648 
125,314 
$10,696 
130,882 
$12,174 
131,663 
$13,409 
Exports and reexports (unmanufactured)~._shorttons.. 
 Value thousands.. 
Exports and reexports of asbestos products (value)    thousands.. 
Imports for consumption (unmanufactured)_shorttons~~ 
 Value thousands 
41,236 
$4,679 
$24,527 
737,909 
$72,930 
36,173 
$4,979 
$28,183 
694,558 
$76,422 
46,585 
$6,996 
$25,391 
649,402 
$75,146 
53,678 
$7,863 
$31,430 
681,367 
$80,090 
58,624 
$9,051 
$32,110 
735,515 
$87,732 
Consumption, apparent 1 
 short tons -World: Production do..... 
817,363 
3,315,301 
784,321 
3,599,123 
728,131 
3,851,251 
758,571 
3,951,373 
808,554 
4,083,340 
1 Measured by quantity produced, plus 
imports, mm 
us exports. 
Table 2.—Stockpile objective and Government inventories as of October
31, 1972 
(Short tons) 
Mineral 
~ 
Stockpile 
objective 
Inventories 
National Supplemental 
Defense 
Production 
Total 
Act 
Amosite                                
Chrysotile                             Subspecification                 
Crocidolite                        
18,400 
13,700 
- - 
None 
 11,705 46,893 6,079 5,916 20 1,032 1,554 23,890 
242 
242 
- - 
58,598 
12,237 
1,294 
25,444 
 Environmental Impact.—The expected effects of environmental regulations
on the asbestos market were not apparent in 1972. The effect may just be
postponed, because 
the Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of
Labor did not promulgate its regulations until June 7, 1972, and EPA had
not pro- 


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