1. Concurrent with the widespread use of asbestos in buildings were noticeable increases in the incidence of certain types of lung disease and cancer among workers who mined, milled, manufactured, and applied asbestos containing products. 2. OSHA and EPA initiated efforts to reduce exposure to asbestos in 1971 and 1973, respectively. 3. The approach taken by these agencies can best be understood through knowing the epidemology of asbestos. 4. The role of the occupational health nurse is centered around prevention of exposure to asbestos by educating employees on the risks of exposure, implementing engineering controls, and enforcing OSHA standards.