Canada Completes Long Road To Asbestos Ban:
To: All Branches
As Branches will be aware the CWU has supported the huge, long running, international campaign movement to firstly halt Asbestos mining in Canada, secondly to resist the re-opening of Asbestos mines and finally support the fight for a national ban on its use in Canada.
I’m pleased to be able to report the news that the use of Asbestos and Asbestos containing products will be banned in Canada as of 30 December, 2018 under regulations passed last week by the Canadian Government.
Canada will now join over 55 countries that have banned the use of Asbestos.
The regulations, supported very widely in Canada, are an essential step to stop Asbestos exposure and protect the health of workers and the public.
Our Union will join those commending the Canadian Government for taking this critically important step to radically reduce future exposure of Canadians, especially workers, to the harms of Asbestos. The ban marks a necessary shift in Canada’s history with Asbestos use, mining, manufacture, import and export.
The new regulations prohibit the import, use, sale, manufacture and export of Asbestos and products containing Asbestos, and outline a permit and reporting regime for a small range of allowable uses.
Stockpiling of Asbestos containing products made before the ban comes into force is also prohibited.
The regulations will result in substantial changes in Asbestos use in key industry sectors such as construction and automotive industries, however, narrow exclusions remain for Asbestos use including for a chlor-alkali plant until 2029, military equipment and nuclear facilities and reuse of mining residues and road materials.
The number of new cancer cases due to Asbestos exposure had continued to rise in recent years.
Campaign organisations and Canadian Trade Unions now want to see actions dealing with Asbestos legacy issues such as Asbestos contaminated workplaces, with strong enforcement, and there were calls for the creation of building an Asbestos Registry and Medical Asbestos Case Registry as the nation moves towards keeping all Canadians safe from future exposure to Asbestos.
Organisations issuing statements congratulating the Government included; “The Canadian Occupational Cancer Research Centre”, ”Asbestos Free Canada”, ”The Victims of Chemical Valley”, “The Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation”, “The United Food and Commercial Workers Union”, “The Canadian Building Trades Unions (CBTU)”, “The Canadian Association for University Teachers”, “The BC Federation of Labour”.
The Canadian Unions now want compensation for the many victims, the legacy of Asbestos-contaminated workplaces addressed, strong enforcement measures, a continued commitment and resources by the Federal Government and joint worker-employer prevention strategies developing a national strategy focused on the remaining Asbestos problems.
In the UK, Blue and Brown Asbestos were banned in 1985 and White Asbestos was banned in1999.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer