The federal government has laid out a tough set of proposed new regulations to prohibit the use, sale, import and export of asbestos and products that contain it, as well as the manufacture of products containing the cancer-causing mineral.
The rules fulfil a Liberal promise made more than a year ago and complement proposals the government issued last spring.
Asbestos is a carcinogen that has been condemned by the World Health Organization and is banned in about 50 countries around the world.
The government says that with some minor exceptions, the proposed regulations and related amendments — published in the latest edition of the Canada Gazette — would ensure there is no market for asbestos and related products in Canada, and that it isn't being brought into the country.
The government is asking the public and industry for feedback during a comment period, which ends March 22.
Asbestos was mined in Canada until 2011 and was used mainly for insulating buildings and homes, as well as for fireproofing.
Many uses have been phased out, but asbestos may still be found in a variety of products, including cement pipes, industrial furnaces and heating systems, building insulation, automotive brake pads and clutches.
The use or sale of any asbestos-containing products that exist in inventories but that have not yet been installed would be prohibited under the new regulations. Any stockpiled asbestos-related materials would need to be disposed of or destroyed.
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