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Helpful Resources and References

Various governmental agencies are responsible for regulating asbestos and assisting individuals who may have been exposed to it. Get information about both public and private agencies which may be able to provide you with help and information about your asbestos-related issues.

Enforcement Protection and the Law

The federal government imposes strict regulation on employers in connection with asbestos exposure on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the agency responsible for health and safety regulations in maritime, construction, manufacturing, and service workplaces.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration

(MSHA) enforces regulations related specifically to mine safety. Workers at risk of asbestos exposure should use all available protective equipment provided by their employers and strictly follow safety procedures. For example, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has approved certain respirators that should be worn by workers in asbestos laden environments.

OSHA

Workers who are concerned about asbestos exposure in the workplace should discuss their concerns with their employer and other employees. It is against the law for an employer to terminate (retaliatory termination), reprimand or discriminate against an employee for informing co-workers of the possible risk of asbestos exposure or for informing a governmental agency such as OSHA of suspected hazards at his or her workplace. If you believe you have suffered adverse employment action because you have alerted co-workers or a government agency to the risk of asbestos exposure you may wish to consult an employment lawyer who specializes in the area of wrongful termination and labor law.

Regional offices of OSHA are listed in the "United States Government" section of telephone directories' blue pages (under "Department of Labor"). Regional offices can also be located at http://www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html on the Internet, or by contacting OSHA's national office at:

Organization: Office of Public Affairs 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
U.S. Department of Labor 
Address: Room N–3647 
200 Constitution Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20210 
Telephone: 202–693–1999
1–800–321–6742 (1–800–321–OSHA) 
TTY (for deaf or hard of hearing callers): 1–877–889–5627
Internet Web site: http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/index.html (Worker’s Page)

Mine workers may contact:

Organization: Office of Information and Public Affairs
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 
U.S. Department of Labor
Address: 23rd Floor 
1100 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209–3939
Telephone: 202–693–9400
Internet Web site: http://www.msha.gov

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) investigates asbestos exposure in the workplace. The Institute conducts asbestos research, inspects work sites for possible health hazards and makes safety and abatement recommendations. NIOSH also distributes a wide range of publications on the health affects of asbestos exposure and can suggest additional sources of information. NIOSH can be contacted at:

Organization: Information Resources Branch
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Address: Robert A. Taft Laboratories
Mailstop C–18
4676 Columbia Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45226–1998
Telephone: 1–800–356–4674 (1–800–35–NIOSH)
E-mail: eidtechinfo@cdc.gov
Internet Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh

Government Resources and Programs

State specific information on Workers Compensation programs can be found at http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/owcp/wc.htm on the Internet.

If exposure occurred during employment with the military or other federal department you may be eligible for compensation by the Federal Employees' Compensation Program.

Workers exposed through their work in a shipyard may be covered under the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. Information about eligibility in these programs is available from:

Organization: Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs
Employment Standards Administration
U.S. Department of Labor

Address:

Room S–3229
200 Constitution Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20210 

Telephone:

202–693–0040 

E-mail:

OWCP-Mail@dol-esa.gov
Internet Web site: http://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp_org.htm

Veterans and their dependents may receive health care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. If the VA cannot provide the necessary medical care, it will arrange for enrolled veterans to receive care elsewhere in their community. Information about eligibility and benefits is available from the VA Health Benefits Service Center at 1-877-222-8387 (1-877-222-VETS) or on the VA Web site at http://www.va.gov/health_benefits/ on the Internet.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is responsible for preventing exposure, adverse human health effects, and diminished quality of life associated with exposure to hazardous substances like asbestos.

The ATSDR provides information about asbestos and where to find occupational and environmental health clinics. Here is how it can be reached:

Organization:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Toxicology

Address:

Mail stop E–29
1600 Clifton Road, NE. 
Atlanta, GA 30333

Telephone:

404–498–0160
1–888–422–8737 (1–888–42–ATSDR)

E-mail:

ATSDRIC@cdc.gov

Internet Web site:

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov

The EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Assistance Information Service, or TSCA Hotline, can answer questions about toxic substances, including asbestos. Consider reviewing the EPA's Asbestos and Vermiculite website for a list of laws and regulations relating to asbestos exposure and potential remedies.

Organization:

TSCA Assistance Information Service 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

Address: Mail code 74080
401 M Street, SW.
Washington, DC 20460
Telephone: 202–554–1404

TDD:

202–554–0551

E-mail: tsca-hotline@epa.gov

Internet Web site:

http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides information about laboratories that conduct asbestos testing, issue guidelines for repairing and removing asbestos and provide general information about asbestos in the home. You can obtain further information from:

Organization:

Office of Information and Public Affairs 
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Address:

4330 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814–4408 

Telephone:

1–800–638–2772

TTY (for deaf or hard of hearing callers):

1–800–638–8270

E-mail:

info@cpsc.gov

Internet Web site:

http://www.cpsc.gov

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