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Asbestos Will Finally Be Banned In Canada On December 30th

December 30th, 2018. That’s the date asbestos officially becomes outlawed in the country of Canada. Announced by the federal government in December of 2016, the nationwide ban of asbestos will have taken a total of two years to come into full effect. We’re not going to lie. We can’t understand the long delay. Asbestos, quite frankly, should have been banned a long time ago.

It’s no secret. Asbestos is a killer. Mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer are just three of the known deadly diseases brought on by asbestos exposure. The toxic substance, once a staple in the construction of homes and buildings, is known to be the number one cause of workplace deaths in Canada. “Good riddance” is all that comes to mind for the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team when thinking of asbestos.

What does the official asbestos ban entail?

As Kelly Franklin of ChemicalWatch.com, reports, “The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations will ban the import, sale and use of the material, as well as the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing it, with some exceptions.” Those exceptions, notes Franklin include legacy uses where asbestos was already integrated in structures that already contain the products.

In other words, old buildings that contain asbestos aren’t about to be torn down and replaced with asbestos-free constructions. Franklin also notes that mining residues are not covered by the new asbestos ban. She also points out that there are some time-limited exceptions as well as several ongoing exclusions to the ban.

What are the time-limited exceptions to the asbestos ban?

“The substance’s use in the chlor-alkali industry – where it is used as part of cell diaphragms to act as a filter in the manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda – has been protected until the end of 2029,” Franklin reports, “The proposal had called for the use to be discontinued from 2025, but was extended to ‘provide sufficient lead time to safely adopt asbestos-free technology’.”

In addition, there are exemptions for particular products that are used to service military equipment as well as service equipment in nuclear facilities. These exemptions expire in 2023 unless a permit is issued by the government to allow for them to continue.

What are the ongoing exclusions to the asbestos ban?

The reuse of road asphalt containing asbestos for the purpose of restoring asbestos mining sites or to create new road infrastructure will still be permissible. As well, if there is no feasible alternative, Canada can still import, sell and use military equipment serviced outside of Canada with an asbestos-containing product. Finally, the import, sale or use of products containing asbestos for display in a museum or use in a laboratory will still be allowed.

“In most of these cases, reporting and record-keeping is required, in addition to the preparation and implementation of an asbestos management plan,” notes Franklin.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we suppose later is better than never. However, for the health and safety of all Canadians, December 30th can’t come soon enough. If you would like information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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