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Feds propose new regulations for asbestos

Canadians are being invited to participate in consultation on the proposed asbestos regulations.


The Government of Canada is proposing comprehensive new regulations to prohibit the use, sale, import, and export of asbestos and products containing asbestos, as well as the manufacture of products containing asbestos.

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.

The 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comprehensive, the existing Asbestos Products Regulations, made under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, would be repealed.

Canadians are being invited to participate in consultation on the proposed regulations by submitting feedback to Environment and Climate Change Canada, at ec.amiante-asbestos.ec@canada.ca, during the comment period ending on March 22, 2018.

In addition to the development of the new regulations the government-wide strategy includes other activities to protect Canadians from asbestos exposure, including:

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada is expanding the current online list of asbestos-containing buildings owned or leased by the Government of Canada;
  • The National Research Council is working in collaboration with provincial and territorial partners to change the national, provincial and territorial building codes to prohibit the use of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects across Canada.

The proposed regulations identify specific industries of concern, including the cement pipe manufacturing industry, where it’s expected that imports will switch from cement products containing asbestos to cement products containing synthetic fibres.

In the proposed regulations it states: “It is assumed that all cement products containing asbestos are cement pipes, and that there is a 15% volume of asbestos material in each cement pipe. Using average import data from 2013 to 2016 for articles of asbestos cement, it is estimated that 146 tonnes of asbestos is used in cement pipes containing asbestos on an annual basis. It is assumed that the incremental difference in price between asbestos fibres and synthetic fibres is about $4,300 per tonne. Given this, it is expected that the cement industry would carry operating costs of approximately $8 million over the time frame of analysis from switching to imports of asbestos-free products.”