The Government of Canada proposes new regulations to protect Canadians from exposure to asbestos

News Release

January 5, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the environment and safeguarding the health of all Canadians. As part of a government-wide strategy to protect Canadians from exposure to asbestos, it is proposing comprehensive new regulations today to prohibit the use, sale, import, and export of asbestos and products containing asbestos, as well as the manufacture of products containing asbestos.

The most effective way of eliminating future exposure to asbestos is by prohibiting any new asbestos from entering the Canadian market. That is why Environment and Climate Change Canada, together with Health Canada, has published the proposed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, as well as related amendments to the Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations.

These proposed regulations and related amendments aim to ensure there is no longer a market for asbestos and related products in Canada. Because the proposed regulations and amendments are more comprehensive, the existing Asbestos Products Regulations, made under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, would be repealed.

The Government of Canada encourages Canadians to participate in a consultation on the proposed regulations, which will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. They can participate by submitting feedback to Environment and Climate Change Canada, at, during the comment period ending on March 22, 2018.


“Too many Canadians know first-hand the devastating health problems that can result from exposure to asbestos at home or at work. By launching these new, tougher rules to stop the manufacture, import, use, and sale of asbestos, we are following through on our promise to protect all Canadians from exposure to this toxic substance.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Breathing in asbestos fibres is known to cause cancer and other devastating illnesses. Our government is committed to reducing the risks of exposure to asbestos. That’s why we are moving forward with these regulations to ban asbestos and asbestos products. My department will continue to increase awareness of simple steps that Canadians can take to avoid exposure to asbestos.”

– Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

Quick Facts

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

  • All forms of asbestos fibres, if inhaled, can cause cancer and other diseases.

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

  • Federal, provincial, and municipal rules and regulations already exist to manage the risks related to legacy asbestos and related products, such as materials found in buildings, equipment, and vehicles. However, the use or sale of any asbestos-containing products that exist in inventories but that have not yet been installed would be prohibited under the new regulations, and any stockpiled asbestos-related materials would need to be disposed of or destroyed.

  • The mining of asbestos in Canada ceased in 2011. 

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

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

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