Canada has recently published two sets of proposed regulations on asbestos and asbestos-containing products. The prohibitions are expected to become effective in early 2019.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 008/18

SafeGuardS crayons

Asbestos in Canada is regulated under various Acts and Regulations. These include the following:

  • The Asbestos Products Regulations [1] (SOR/2016-164) under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) which prohibit asbestos in a limited number of specific consumer products and govern the type and format of statements

  • The Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulations [2] (SOR/90-341) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) which restrict the concentration of asbestos fibers in gases emitted into ambient air in asbestos mills and mines.

  • The Export of Substances on the Export Control List of Regulations [3] (SOR/2013-88) under CEPA which govern the export of crocidolite in Part 2 of the Export Control List [4] in Schedule 3 to CEPA.

On January 6, 2018, Canada published two proposals to strengthen the regulatory action on asbestos. These proposals were published in Canada Gazette 1 and are titled:

  • Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations [5]

  • Order amending Schedule 3 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 [6]

Except for a few specific exemptions, the Proposed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations have essentially placed a blanket prohibition on asbestos.

Comments on these two proposals will be accepted until March 22, 2018. These will be considered in the development of the final Regulations, which are targeted for publication in the fall of 2018. The prohibitions will become effective on the 90th day after the day on which they are registered.

Highlights of the proposed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1.

Proposed Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos Products Regulations
Effective Date

Asbestos, including:

  • Actinolite
  • Amosite
  • Anthophyllite
  • Chrysotile
  • Crocidolite
  • Tremolite
  • Asbestos
  • Products containing asbestos
  • Products in which asbestos is incidentally present
Prohibited Intended early 2019

In 2015, we informed you of a report [7] released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund announcing the presence of asbestos in children’s crayons and toy crime lab kits. That report drew international attention. According to the findings, these asbestos-containing products were manufactured in China and imported in the United States (US). The asbestos found in the tested products was most likely to be a contaminant in talc used as a binding agent in crayons and powders in crime scene fingerprint kits.

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy, for asbestos in consumer products for Canada and other International markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Next step:

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements for asbestos for the Canadian markets.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

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