The Government of Canada supports the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention

News Release

The Government is actively pursuing the international agreement to protect human health and the environment

April 21, 2017 – Gatineau, Quebec – Environment and Climate Change Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health of all Canadians.
In December 2016, the Government of Canada announced a government-wide strategy to protect Canadians from exposure to asbestos. As part of this strategy, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada are developing new regulations to prohibit asbestos and products containing asbestos, by 2018.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, announced today that the Government of Canada will fully support the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention and will advocate for it at the upcoming eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in Geneva next week. The Government supports the objective of the convention, which is to protect human health and the environment by promoting informed decisions about the import and management of certain hazardous chemicals.

In addition, the Government published yesterday a consultation document describing the proposed regulatory approach to manage asbestos and to solicit Canadians’ views on the proposed measures.  

Moving forward, Canada will continue to work domestically and internationally to protect the environment and health of Canadians from the risks of harmful substances.


Quotes

“By supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention, Canada is taking a concrete step to promote responsible management of this harmful substance globally. In Canada, we will also put in place regulatory measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians as we move forward toward a ban on asbestos.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Breathing in asbestos fibres is known to cause cancer and other devastating illnesses. The Government of Canada is committed to reducing exposure to asbestos, and that’s why we are developing regulations to ban asbestos, as well as supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention.”
– Jane Philpott, Minister of Health

“Protecting the health and safety of Canadians is of utmost importance to our government. When it comes to asbestos, the scientific evidence is clear. Irrefutable evidence has led us to take concrete action to swiftly ban asbestos and to support the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention. Canadians can be confident that these actions will help ensure their families, coworkers, and communities will be protected from the harmful effects of asbestos exposure so they may lead healthy, secure lives.”
– Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

Quick Facts

  • Canada is a party to the Rotterdam Convention, whose objective is to protect human health and the environment by promoting informed decisions about the import and management of certain hazardous chemicals.

  • Asbestos was declared a human carcinogen by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, in 1987.

  • At the height of its use, asbestos was found in more than 3000 applications worldwide; however, production and use have declined since the 1970s.

Associated Links

Contacts

Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
613-462-5473

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)


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