This study develops a decision framework for evaluating hazardous waste standards in terms of social risks and product benefits. The analysis focuses on cadmium and asbestos as examples of land waste disposal problems, but is also estimates waste quantities in air and water. Effects of uncertainties in the individual estimates on overall confidence limits, resultant decision criteria, and research needs are evaluated. The approach encompasses the full chain of variables leading to decision criteria, including (1) wastes escaping into the various media from each step in the hazardous material flow process, including extraction, refining, manufacturing, use, and disposal; (2) cost and effectiveness of alternative waste control measures; (3) their economic, employment, and balance-of-trade effects; (4) environmental dispersion mechanisms; (5) human exposures, dose-damage relationships, and resultant mortalities; (6) risk/benefit relationships; and (7) equity distribution, social acceptance, and other independent criteria. An extensive bibliography is included.