Federal Government Bans Asbestos Use by 2018

On Thursday, December 15th 2016, the Canadian Government made a major announcement stating that they will be moving forward with a “whole-of-government approach to fulfill its commitment to ban asbestos and asbestos-containing products by 2018.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health commented on the decision stating that “Across Canada and the world, asbestos-related cancers continue to hurt Canadian families and pose a significant burden for our health care systems. Our government is taking action to protect Canadians from substances such as asbestos that can be harmful to their health and safety.”

Canadian Cancer Survivor Network President & CEO Jackie Manthorne “Commends the federal government for moving forward with this initiative. With direct evidence proving that asbestos can cause both mesothelioma and lung cancer, we support the decision that works towards removing this material from Canadian buildings and homes. We also encourage the Federal government to continue to focus on providing Canadians with safe and healthy environments.”

Below are some quick facts in regards to the announcement:

  • 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 3,000 applications worldwide; however, production and use have declined since the 1970s.
  • Effective April 1, 2016, the Government of Canada introduced a ban on the use of asbestos-containing materials in all new construction and renovation projects under the purview of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).
  • PSPC has published a National Asbestos Inventory of federal buildings containing asbestos that it owns or leases.
  • There are no significant health risks if materials containing asbestos in homes are tightly bound and left undisturbed.
  • The government participates in 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.

If you would like to read the full press release, please click here.

If you are interested in learning more about asbestos, mesothelioma and lung cancer, please click here.