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Proposed Asbestos Ban Facing Some Criticism

Since December of 2016, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would finally implement a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has been following the story quite closely. Originally, the plan was to have the toxic substance completely outlawed by 2018. Well, here we are in 2018 and we’re still awaiting word of the official passing of the long-promised ban.

In one of our several blogs covering the topic, we revealed that a “consultation period” was being requested to ask both the public and industry for feedback about the new policy regarding asbestos. This period concluded on March 22nd. Now, nearly three weeks removed from that consultation period, Canadians are left wondering what the holdup is.

What are the issues surrounding the asbestos ban?

According to Muller & Green – an organization that specializes in research, analysis, consulting and PR activity for local and global brands – the new asbestos policy may not be what it’s cracked up to be. In a recent report published by Newswire.ca, Muller & Green revealed that the Canadian government’s proposed ban of asbestos is facing some criticism. Although $114 million has been committed to implement a new policy, there are some holes in the specifics.

As Muller & Green report, there is apparently “no distinction between harmful asbestos such as the various amphibole asbestos and chrysotile, and ‘white asbestos’, still used in various products today. This omission is critical for numerous businesses and industries in Canada, which rely on products containing the non-harmful form of the mineral.”

Because of the lack of distinction between the different forms of asbestos, the proposed ban is likely to force a number of Canadian businesses to shut down. And while the health of Canadians is clearly far more important, the plan is also being criticized for not taking into consideration the work already being done to prevent asbestos-related diseases.

“One of the rationales for the proposal is economic, in terms of savings that will be made in health services from reduced cases of asbestos-related diseases,” reads the report, “However, regulations and prevention of asbestos-related diseases have been established, contradicting the health argument.”

What other concerns have arisen from the new proposal?

By not distinguishing the differences between the various forms of asbestos, there is a concern that billions of dollars will end up being wasted on removing “safe asbestos” from public buildings. The financial figures for the implementation of the plan, says the report, appear to be understated.

As well, the planned proposal for the ban has apparently exempted mining activities and the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry. It has been reported that the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry will remain acceptable until 2025.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re not convinced that there is a reasonable and safe way to continue to use any asbestos in this country. The damage that it has caused has been well documented. We need not another Canadian death that is asbestos-related. The time for the ban to take effect has come. In fact, it is well past due.

Of course, in the meantime, our team remains dedicated to helping Canadians to remove asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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