Canada proposes legislation to move asbestos ban forward

12 Jan 2018 by under News

Flag of Canada.svg 1 100x100 Canada proposes legislation to move asbestos ban forwardAt the end of 2016, the Canadian government announced plans to remove asbestos from the country, acknowledging no safe level of exposure to the carcinogen is safe for humans. It planned a “whole-of-government-approach” to reduce the public’s health risk by proposing regulations to eliminate its manufacture, use, import and export by 2018.

Now Canada is making good on those plans, according to CBC News. The country’s federal health and environmental departments are proposing changes to eliminate the Canadian asbestos market by repealing the Asbestos Products Regulations and replacing them with more comprehensive rules. They will “prohibit the import and uses of asbestos and products containing asbestos in Canada, with limited exclusions” to take effect next year. “By launching these new, tougher rules to stop the manufacture, import, use and sale of asbestos, we are following through on our promises to protect all Canadians from exposure to this toxic substance,” Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna told CBC News.

The government estimates eliminating just one case of cancer will save $1 million today. Therefore, it argues if the rules can save just five people a year from developing lung cancer for 17 years, the associated $34 million administrative and compliance costs will be covered.

Exemption to the new rules include allowing asbestos remediation around former for redevelopment of the sites, which has some saying the new laws don’t go far enough. Advocates are hoping the proposed rules will further spark efforts to remove asbestos from Canadian society. “I’m hoping this federal initiative will spur the provinces to do more, because we’ve got far more to do at the provincial level now with the federal government finally getting onside to banning asbestos,” Hassan Yusseff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said. “What we’ve seen so far, we’re quite pleased.”

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