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OSHA tries to put the brakes on asbestos precautions

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

OSHA scientist Ira Wainless is facing unpaid suspension for standing by his assertion that mechanics should be warned of possible asbestos exposure from brake pads. Most people, including mechanics, assume that the import of asbestos-containing products has been banned in the U.S. as it has in most other countries. Think again. The Baltimore Sun reports an 83% increase in asbestos-laden imported brakes in the last decade. On top of that it appears that the Big Three automakers are behind the arm-twisting and intimidation of Wainless with lobbying muscle from none other than regulatory-hurdle-smashing consulting firm, Chemrisk—brainchild of Dennis Paustenbach. (You may remember Paustenbach from the Wall Street Journal article exposing his role in ghost writing a bogus study on the chromium toxicity.)

A special thanks to Baltimore Sun reporter, Andrew Schneider, for investigating this—and to our friends at Effect Measure for bring it to my attention. I highly recommend clicking through to their posts.

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