Canada supports the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention

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, recently announced 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 recently published a consultation document describing the proposed regulatory approach to manage asbestos and to solicit Canadians’ views on the proposed measures.

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.

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