Canadian government asked to stop sale of asbestos-containing products

Tue, Sep 28, 2021


Kathleen Ruff,

In a letter sent on September 8, 2021,, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Friends of the Earth Canada and health scientists and advocates have asked the Canadian government to take action to stop the continuing sale of asbestos-containing products in Canada.

The government enacted legislation at the end of 2018 that prohibits the sale of asbestos-containing products. It established a Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations team at Environment Canada.

However, asbestos-containing products, such as gloves, ironing boards, kitchen items, and car parts, continue to be sold by eBay Canada on its website.

Abestos product being sold on e-Bay Canada – September 28, 2021

On July 6, 2021 Kathleen Ruff of RightOnCanada wrote to Canada’s Minister of the Environment, Jonathan Wilkinson, and to the officials at Environment Canada responsible for the asbestos regulations, saying “I believe these activities contravene the Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations. Please could you inform me if this is correct and, if it is correct, what actions you will be taking to stop these activities that pose a threat to the health of Canadians.”

On August 5, 2021, Environment Canada’s Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations team responded saying that the regulations prohibiting the sale of asbestos and asbestos-containing products do not apply to items being sold today that have been used prior to December 30, 2018.

“We find this interpretation of the Regulations extremely troubling,” state the health organisations and scientists in their letter. First of all, some of the items being sold, such as asbestos gloves and asbestos car parts, are new and are being sold now in 2021. Furthermore, used and deteriorated items being sold today pose an increased threat to health.

In addition, the exemption in the regulations, cited by the Environment Canada officials, applies to asbestos that was “integrated into a structure or infrastructure, such as a building, ship or airplane, before December 30, 2018.”

Clearly, the items being sold by e-Bay Canada are not integrated into a structure but are independent items.

The lack of concern shown by the Canadian government is disappointing, particularly in light of the decades-long policy of Canadian governments and, in particular, of Environment Canada, of promoting the use of asbestos and sabotaging a UN Convention that sought to protect populations overseas from asbestos harm.

In their letter, the health organisations and scientists call on the government to take a number of actions to stop the continuing sale in Canada of new asbestos-containing products, as well as asbestos-containing products that were used before December 30, 2018 but were not integrated into a structure or infrastructure.

A response is awaited.

Continue reading...
Older Entries Newer Entries