After years of pressure from health advocacy groups, the Government of Canada has recently announced a new ban on asbestos. The federal regulations will take effect in 2019 and prohibit the manufacturing, import, sale, or use of processed asbestos fibres and products containing them (including consumer products).
Many Canadians are surprised that an extensive ban has taken this long since the health effects from asbestos exposure have been known for decades. What most Canadians may not know is that asbestos products were still being used in new building construction; in fact, asbestos cement pipes have been commonly used in newly constructed high-rise public, commercial, and residential buildings.
It is important to note that the changes in the federal regulations do not address asbestos that is already present in buildings across Canada. Those living or working in buildings which already contain asbestos must be made aware of the type, location and condition of asbestos-containing building materials. This way, measures can be taken to ensure these materials do not jeopardize the health of building occupants or workers who are responsible for building maintenance or renovations.
For some of our readers, the new federal regulations on asbestos will not impact them. However, for those currently involved in new construction projects or acquiring newer buildings, consideration should be given to confirming the absence of asbestos-containing building materials.
For more information, please contact Troy Jones at (519) 653-7140 Ext. 278.