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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Clifton, R. A.
Asbestos,   pp. 71-84 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 71

Asbestos 
' By R. A. Clifton1 
Table 1 —Salient asbestos statistics 
 1975 1976 1977 1978 '  1979 
United States: 
 Production (sales) metric tons - 
 Value thousand&~ 
Exports and reexports (unmanu 
 factured) metric tons~ 
 Value thousands_ - 
Exports and reexports of asbestos 
products(value)                 
Imports for consumption (unmanu 
 factured) metric tons 
 Value thousands~ 
Released from stockpile 
 (unmanufactured) metric ton&. - 
 Consumption, apparent1 — do_ -— - 
World: Production do 
$60,776 
488,521 
$111,011 
 6,238 
551,188 
4,138,756 
 $60,572 
 596,737 
$142,145 
501 
 658,847 r5,086,071 
 r$62,665 $119,915 $130,906 
 550,693 570,020 513,084 
 $145,146 $154,351 $135,211 
 188 —— —— 
 609,157 618,706 560,588 
 r5,220,639 5,153,868 5,277,591 
TRevised 
1Measured by quantity produced plus imports plus stockpile releases minus
exports 
Shipments of asbestos (mostly chrysotile) 
in 1978 from mines in the United States 
increased minimally from those in 1977. 
There was another small increase in 1979. 
Imports in 1978 were 4% higher than those 
in 1977, but decreased 10% in 1979. 
U.S. apparent consumption rose 2% in 1978, but declined 9% in 1979. Canadian
production in 1978 was 6% lower than that 
Legislation and Government Programs—No date was set by the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the public hearings mandatory
for the proposed revisions to its asbestos standard for manufacturing. The
proposal for a permissible-exposure level of 0.5 fibers per cubic centimeter
has been pending for 5 years until the hearings are scheduled. 
On January 10, 1978, the Supreme Court dismissed an indictment against a
Michigan wrecking company accused of violating the Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA) asbestos regulation. The high court ruled that the regulation
was not an "emission standard" because it had no numerical limit,
but rather
a work practice. 
for 1977 but regained the 6% in 1979 Shipments from Canada to the United
States rose 7% during 1978 but dropped 1% in 1979 Imports from Canada were
95% of total US imports and those from the Republic of South Africa accounted
for 4%; these figures were 97% and 3%, respectively m 1979 
 89,489 104,873 92,256' 93,097 98,354 
 $14,220 $23,693 $25,267 $27,987 $28,925 
 33,061 42,564 34,896 45,380 45,850 
 $10,667 $12,791 $12,075 $20,533 $24,165 
 On April 26, 1978, Joseph A. Califano, Secretary of the Department of Health,
Education and Welfare (HEW) initiated a government asbestos warning program~
Two major steps were announced: Issuance of an advisory letter to 400,000
physicians,' and startup of a public information cam-' paign aimed at workers
and others possibly exposed to asbestos. 
On April 28, 1978, EPA published in the Federal Register the procedures it
will follow in promulgating a hazardous waste control system. Asbestos will
be included among the hazardous materials covered under authority of the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 amendment to the Solid Waste
Disposal Act. 
71 


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