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Asbestos

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There are several minerals commonly known as asbestos. These minerals can be used to make products strong, long-lasting and fire-resistant. Before 1990, asbestos was mainly used for insulating buildings and homes against cold weather and noise. It was also used for fireproofing. Industry, construction and commercial sectors have used, and, in some cases, continue to use, asbestos in products like:

  • cement and plaster
  • industrial furnaces and heating systems
  • building insulation
  • floor and ceiling tiles
  • house siding
  • car and truck brake pads
  • vehicle transmission components, such as clutches

The Government of Canada recognizes that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. The Government helps protect Canadians from asbestos exposure.

Notice of Intent to Develop Regulations Respecting Asbestos

In December 2016, a Notice was issued in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 150, No. 51 - December 17, 2016 (PDF Version 2,352 K) that the Department of the Environment and the Department of Health are initiating the development of proposed regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) that would seek to prohibit all future activities respecting asbestos and asbestos-containing products, including, the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, import and export. There is a 30-day consultation period associated with this publication, ending on January 18, 2017.

The proposed regulations are intended to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in December 2017.

Mandatory Survey - Section 71 Notice

In December 2016, a Notice was issued in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 150, No. 51 - December 17, 2016 (PDF Version 2,352 K) under section 71 of CEPA 1999. The Notice applies to asbestos, crocidolite asbestos, chrysotile asbestos, amosite asbestos, actinolite asbestos, anthophyllite asbestos and tremolite asbestos.

The purpose of the section 71 Notice is to obtain information on the manufacture, import, export and use of asbestos and products containing asbestos for the 2013 to 2015 calendar years, as well as socio-economic information. This data will inform the development of additional regulatory measures, and will ensure that future decision-making is based on the best available information.

Every person to whom the Notice applies is required to comply no later than January 18, 2017.

For guidance to help you determine if you are subject to the Notice and for assistance with completing the sections of the Notice, refer to the Guidance document for completing the CEPA section 71 Notice.

Please note that under subsection 71(4) of CEPA 1999, extensions may be granted in some cases upon written request. However, in the case of this Notice, extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and for a short period of time. To apply for an extension, a written request must be submitted to the Minister of the Environment, to the attention of the Substances Management Coordinator, prior to the deadline.

Persons who do not meet the reporting requirements of the Notice, but who have an interest in reportable substances covered by the Notice are encouraged to identify themselves as a stakeholder for those substances by submitting a voluntary Declaration of Stakeholder Interest online via Environment and Climate Change Canada's Single Window (available December 19, 2016). The Declaration of Stakeholder Interest also allows persons to submit voluntary information on asbestos that would be beneficial to inform risk management. The person may be contacted for further information regarding their interest in asbestos.

Persons who do not meet the requirements to respond to the Notice and have no commercial interest in the substances listed in this notice may complete a Declaration of Non-Engagement online via Environment and Climate Change Canada's Single Window (available December 19, 2016).

How to Submit a Response

Responses to the section 71 Notice, the Declaration of Stakeholder Interest and the Declaration of Non-Engagement should be submitted via Environment and Climate Change Canada's Single Window (available December 19, 2016).

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Single Window provides a single point of access to view and update your information with Environment and Climate Change Canada's regulatory program reporting applications. The Single Window Information Manager allows users to enter, edit or update information about their profile, organizations, facilities and contacts, to manage roles for other users, and to navigate to program-specific reporting tools.

For general inquiries, or to request a copy of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) Online Reporting How-To Guide, please contact us and use the subject line "Asbestos Inquiry".

Background

Asbestos is currently on the List of Toxic Substances found in Schedule 1 to CEPA 1999, and the listing covers all six types of asbestos. Current controls focus on mining, some high risk consumer products, and workplace exposure. These include the Asbestos Products Regulations under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and the Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulations under CEPA 1999.