The Ban on the Use and Sale of Asbestos-Containing Products is Fast Approaching

On December 30, 2018, federal regulations prohibiting the manufacture, import, export, sale and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, will come into force.

Some products and uses are excluded from these new regulations. They do not apply to asbestos-containing products in use before the day on which the Regulations come into force – such as brake pads already installed in vehicles. The use or sale of products remaining in inventory, however, will be prohibited when the Regulations come into force.

Products that do not contain asbestos will have to be procured. The Government of Canada released the following statement:

“It is expected that automotive stakeholders would comply with the Regulations by switching from imports of friction materials containing asbestos to asbestos-free friction materials, such as ceramic brake pads or materials with synthetic fibres. It is assumed that all friction materials containing asbestos are brake pads. Using average import data from 2013 to 2016 for friction materials containing asbestos, it is estimated that 333 000 brake pads containing asbestos are imported on an annual basis. Assuming that there is a $5 incremental difference in price between brake pads containing asbestos and asbestos-free brake pads, it is expected that the automotive industry would carry operating costs of approximately $21 million over the time frame of analysis.”

The federal Government has projected that some of the costs to industry will be passed down to customers:

“Consumers purchasing products (such as consumers that purchase aftermarket parts that are sold to them upon vehicle repairs and maintenance) would be directly affected by the Regulations, and are likely to see some costs passed on to the prices of final goods. The extent to which businesses are able to pass on the incremental costs to consumers through higher prices would determine the ultimate distribution of costs between businesses and consumers.”

Asbestos-containing products will need to be disposed of. To identify disposal practices, please refer to provincial/ territorial workplace health and safety and/or labour regulations.

Download the factsheet here.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Erin Chreptyk by email at, or by phone at (613) 809. 4671.