I'm very upset about OSHA's new director's decision to throw 5,000 booklets on the cotton dust standard into the fire ["OSHA to Review Work-Exposure Rules," A2, March 28].
I helped write that booklet for OSHA, and I helped write and produce the slide show about the standard that OSHA also plans to junk. As a writer, I'm naturally bothered when someone throws out my work without first reading it. But I'm more upset about why director Thorne G. Auchter chose to junk the booklets: He thought the cover "clearly establishes a biased viewpoint in the cotton dust issue" sympathetic to textile workers.
The cover photo showed the face of a man who later died from "brown lung" -- that's the name cotton textile workers use for the disease caused by continued exposure to microscopic cotton dust particles. When we put the booklet together, we took the same position that OSHA took when it wrote the cotton dust standard: Cotton dust kills unless it is controlled in the work place.
The fact is cotton dust does kill. Two former textile workers we interviewed for the slide show died before it was completed. Both were nearly 10 years younger than President Reagan.
I could have lived with the recall of the books if OSHA had decided that the book was obsolete or poorly designed. But instead, the administration is throwing out both the booklets and the government's responsibility to protect hard-working Americans when private industry won't. How demoralizing!
BRUCE JAMES, Arlington