New By Julie Ireton, CBC News Posted: Dec 09, 2016 5:27 PM ET
**Asbestos ban to be announced by federalgovernment next week **
The federal government plans toannounce a comprehensive ban on asbestos in Canada next week, CBC News haslearned.
The country currently allowsimports of construction products and automotive parts that contain the toxicfibre, even though Canada no longer exports the material.
Asbestos is known to cause deadlycancers and lung diseases, and has already been banned in Europe, Australia andJapan. The World Health Organization recommends replacing asbestos with safersubstitutes.
Canadian labour and public healthgroups have been callingfor a comprehensive ban for years.
About 2,000 Canadians die ofasbestos-related diseases every year — many of those deaths have been linked toasbestos exposure in the workplace.
In November, Saskatchewan NewDemocrat MP Sheri Benson put forward a private member’s bill calling on a banon asbestos. Asbestos in buildings is not necessarily dangerous, but it becomesa problem when the fibre is disturbed.
From time to time contractors,electricians, plumbers, custodians, firefighters and cable installersunknowingly disrupt pipes, walls, ceilings and other materials that contain thetoxic fibre.
Public Services and ProcurementCanada announced in April that it plannedto ban the use of asbestos in that department’s construction projects.
The department has also developedan inventory of its buildings that contain asbestos, and several otherdepartments are expected to follow that lead. In the meantime, CBChas developed a map and registry that includes some 800 federal buildingsacross Caanda.](http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/asbestos-inventory-lauded-health-safety-advocates-1.3788177)
In May, Prime Minister JustinTrudeau said the government was planning to implement a ban on asbestos anddevelop a building registry. “We’re making sure that we are puttingforward a registry of all buildings that have asbestos in them and we aremoving to ban asbestos,” he said.