Canada announces total ban on asbestos by 2018

Monday, September 11th, 2017

What is Asbestos

Asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals: chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. Among these, chrysotile and amosite asbestos are most common.

Asbestos microscopic particles that are durable and resistant, are the reasons that supported the use of this material in commercial and industrial capacities.  Asbestos became popular in the production of construction materials, automotive parts and even in some textiles. Asbestos is currently strictly regulated as its toxicity is directly linked to hazardous health implications such as lung and respiratory conditions including mesothelioma (cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart). The mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 – 50 years to appear after the first exposure to asbestos.

History of Asbestos

1800 – With the industrial revolution , asbestos use became wider and more commercial. With automation and use of heavy machinery, It became a thriving industry in the mining sector.

1856 – H.W. Johns Manufacturing Company is founded in lower Manhattan, selling a new, fireproof roofing material made of burlap, asbestos, tar and other ingredients.

1876 – Canadians (Quebec) established first world’s asbestos commercial mines.

1897 – An Austrian doctor attributed pulmonary troubles in one of his patients to the inhalation of asbestos dust.

Early 1900 – Asbestos production grew worldwide to more than 30,000 tons annually.

1908 – insurance companies in the U.S. and Canada began decreasing coverage and benefits, while increasing premiums, for workers employed in the asbestos industry.

1930 to 1950 – Durable roads were contained asbestos-laced asphalt.

1942  – Past World war II, the increasing demand of minerals such as asbestos to fulfill the construction boom allowed the asbestos production increase to about 60 percent of world production.

1973 – U.S. consumption of asbestos peaked at 804,000 tons.

Late 1970 –  People began to understand the connections between asbestos use and health implications. A dramatic decline in asbestos use began throughout the industrialized nations.

2003 – New environmental regulations and consumer demand helped push for full or partial bans on the use of asbestos in 17 countries: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

2005 – Asbestos was banned throughout the European Union.

2012 – Canada’s last asbestos mine officially closed.

2018 – Canada announces total ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing products by 2018.