Canada to implement full asbestos ban by 2018

Published on December 15, 2016
A sign outside the demolished Bond Theatre in Carbonear warns the public about asbestos on site.
TC Media file photo

Ottawa, Ont. – The federal government has announced it is moving forward with a complete ban on asbestos by 2018.

As part of the government-wide strategy, new regulations will be created that prohibit the manufacture, use, import and export of asbestos under the country’s Environmental Protection Act.

A range of other initiatives will also be implemented under the plan.

For instance, few federal workplace health and safety rules will be put in place significantly limiting the risk of people coming into contact with asbestos on the job.

See: The Health Risks of Asbestos (Health Canada)

As well, the federal government will work with the provinces and territories to change building codes to outlaw asbestos in new construction and renovation projects across the country.

The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer declared asbestos a human carcinogen in 1987.

Prior to a decline in production in the 1970s, asbestos was found in more than 3,000 applications worldwide, including roofing, thermal and electrical insulation, cement pipe and sheets, flooring and gaskets.

Asbestos is regulated by several federal and provincial laws and is also the subject of international conventions.