Asbestos

There are several minerals commonly known as asbestos. These minerals can be used to make products strong, long-lasting and fire-resistant. Before 1990, asbestos was mainly used for insulating buildings and homes against cold weather and noise. It was also used for fireproofing. Industry, construction and commercial sectors have used, and, in some cases, may continue to use, asbestos in products like:

  • cement and plaster
  • industrial furnaces and heating systems
  • building insulation
  • floor and ceiling tiles
  • house siding
  • car and truck brake pads
  • vehicle transmission components, such as clutches

The Government of Canada recognizes that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. The Government is taking action by developing proposed regulations to help protect Canadians from asbestos exposure.

Consultation Document

Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada have published a Consultation Document on the proposed regulatory approach to prohibit asbestos and products containing asbestos.

The objective of this Consultation Document is to inform stakeholders of the proposed regulatory approach, solicit their comments and request additional information. Comments and submissions must be provided during the consultation period, which ends on June 4, 2017.

In addition, stakeholders can register to attend a webinar during which the regulatory approach described in the Consultation Document will be presented. To register for a webinar, stakeholders must complete and return the webinar registry form before April 28, 2017. Stakeholders who have not received a registration form, may request one by email.

Comments and information received in response to the Consultation Document will be considered in the development of the proposed regulations, expected to be published in Canada Gazette, Part I, in December 2017.

Notice of Intent to Develop Regulations Respecting Asbestos

In December 2016, a Notice of intent was issued in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 150, No. 51 - December 17, 2016 (PDF Version 2,352 K) indicating that the Department of the Environment and the Department of Health are initiating the development of proposed regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). These new regulations would seek to prohibit all future activities respecting asbestos and products containing asbestos, including, the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, import and export. There was a 30-day consultation period associated with this publication. Comments received on this publication have been considered in the development of the Consultation Document.

The proposed regulations are intended to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in December 2017.

Mandatory Survey - Section 71 Notice

In December 2016, a Notice was issued in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 150, No. 51 - December 17, 2016 (PDF Version 2,352 K) under section 71 of CEPA 1999. The Notice applied to all six types of asbestos : crocidolite asbestos, chrysotile asbestos, amosite asbestos, actinolite asbestos, anthophyllite asbestos and tremolite asbestos. Every person to whom the Notice applied was required to comply no later than January 18, 2017.

The purpose of the section 71 Notice was to obtain information on the manufacture, import, export and use of asbestos and products containing asbestos for the 2013 to 2015 calendar years, as well as socio-economic information. This data will inform the development of additional regulatory measures, and will ensure that future decision-making is based on the best available information.

Background

Asbestos is currently on the List of Toxic Substances found in Schedule 1 to CEPA 1999, and the listing covers all six types of asbestos. Current regulatory controls focus on mining, some high risk consumer products, and workplace exposure. These include the Asbestos Products Regulations under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and the Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulations under CEPA 1999.

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