Canadian Government’s proposed Asbestos Regulations

The Canadian federal government recently introduced proposed Asbestos Regulations.  It also issued a Notice to manufacturers, importers, exporters, and users of asbestos and asbestos-containing products.

Under the proposed asbestos regulations, a prohibition would be placed on all future activities respecting asbestos and asbestos-containing products, including the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, import and export.

The Canadian federal Government Notice required industry to submit information on the manufacture, import, export, and use of asbestos and products that contain asbestos.  The information gathered will be used to inform the development of the proposed regulations and will ensure that future decision making is based on the best available information.

As a first step in the consultation process, interested parties were given the opportunity to submit comments on the approach set out.  Subsequently, interested parties will also be consulted in the spring of 2017, and additional information will be available on an asbestos information web page: Interested parties will have another opportunity to make written comments specific to the regulatory proposal during the mandatory consultation period that will follow the publication of the proposed regulations in December 2017.

Asbestos (Chemical Abstract Service Registry Number (CAS RN) 1332-21-4) is a commercial term given to six naturally occurring minerals that are incombustible and separable into filaments.

Historically, asbestos was mainly used for insulating buildings and homes against cold weather and noise. It was also used for fireproofing. While many uses have been phased out and alternatives are available, asbestos may still be found 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, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

More information about the health impacts of asbestos can be found at Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center web site.

 

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