Canada Working to Ban Asbestos with New Proposed Rules

Canada is taking steps to ban asbestos by proposing the prohibition of the use, sale, import and export of asbestos and products containing the hazardous material. Both the federal and environmental departments both acknowledge that all forms of asbestos can cause cancer or other diseases. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer recognized asbestos as a human carcinogen more than 30 years ago; asbestos is banned in about 50 countries.

According to the proposed new rules, “any asbestos-containing products that exist in inventories but that have not yet been installed would be prohibited. Any stockpiled asbestos-related materials would need to be disposed of or destroyed.” The use of asbestos in chlor-alkali industry for use in cell diaphragms which are used as filters in the manufacturing of chlorine and caustic soda would be exempt from the ban until 2025 in order for the industry to phase out the material.

The Canadian government is asking for public and industrial comments on the matter until March 22, 2018.