Doctors alarmed by sale of used asbestos products

A legal loophole means products containing asbestos can be sold if they're second-hand.

The Canadian Press 1 minute read October 12, 2021

Advocates are hoping Ottawa will act to close a loophold allowing the sale of some asbestos products.

by Mia Rabson

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.