Doctors alarmed by loophole allowing sale of used asbestos products

Doctors alarmed by loophole allowing sale of used asbestos products
A file photo of a doctor

OTTAWA — Public health advocates and environmental groups say the federal government needs to close a loophole allowing the resale of second-hand products containing asbestos.

Canada banned the cancer-causing mineral and products that contain it in 2018, more than 30 years after the World Health Organization designated it as a carcinogen.

In a July letter to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Friends of the Earth Canada and several others say they’re still finding lots of products that contain asbestos for sale online.

That includes gloves, kitchen tiles and car parts.

Environment Canada tells the groups the regulations are intended to prevent new products from entering the market and don’t apply to “legacy” items that were already in use before the ban took effect.

Kathleen Ruff, director of, says the ban should apply to any product that has asbestos in it, adding used products are more likely to have wear and tear that could expose human users to the dangerous asbestos fibres inside.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2021.

Mia Rabson/The Canadian Press

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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