Asbestos resources

A number of organizations in Canada have published resources about asbestos and asbestos abatement online. This section of the site provides links to webpages maintained by these organizations. Included are links to guidelines and codes of practice for controlling exposure, as well as links to relevant regulations, forms, information sheets and awareness campaigns. The CMF has provided these links for your convenience and not as an endorsement of the information contained therein. The resources have been grouped by organizations that operate at the national level and by those that operate at the provincial level.

Organizations that operate at the national level

CAREX Canada: The purpose of CAREX Canada is to generate and communicate knowledge about Canadians’ exposures to known and suspected carcinogens, with the ultimate goal of supporting organizations in their efforts to prioritize exposures and develop targeted exposure reduction policies and programs. Their website contains up-to-date, credible scientific information on asbestos, the cause of most cases of mesothelioma. This information can be found on the following pages: asbestos profile, asbestos occupational exposures, and asbestos resources. In addition, the website provides a link to an external list of asbestos prevention policies.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS): The CCOHS is a national organization with a mandate to promote and advance workplace health and safety. Their website is a comprehensive resource for information on legislation, workplace hazards, workplace health and wellness, and health and safety programs. In addition to a series of documents on asbestos, you will also find information on asbestos control strategies for workplaces. Published in 2018, this document provides an overview of the components of an asbestos control program and exposure reduction practices.

The Government of Canada website has several resources on asbestos. Health Canada’s site has a publication entitled health risks of asbestos”, which summarizes sources of asbestos exposure, how to reduce the risk of exposure in the home and when doing car maintenance, and Government of Canada regulations. An asbestos hazard alert is also available for download from Employment and Social Development Canada.

Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC): The OCRC works to expand knowledge of occupation-related cancers and to inform preventive programs to control workplace exposure to carcinogens and improve the health of workers. The OCRC’s website includes numerous resources on asbestos, reports and factsheets on the burden of occupational cancers in Ontario and in Canada, as well as links to their published research on asbestos and mesothelioma.

Organizations that operate at the provincial level

British Columbia: WorkSafeBC has a number of general resources about asbestos, as well as a publication on safe work practices for handling asbestos (which describes safe methods of handling all types of asbestos-containing materials and discusses suitable work procedures for the removal, enclosure, and encapsulation of friable asbestos materials). In addition, WorkSafeBC has a webpage on asbestos awareness for homeowners, that provides comprehensive health and safety resources on asbestos hazards during home renovations or demolitions (e.g., sources of asbestos in the home, testing and removal guidelines, and how to prevent exposure).

Alberta: The Government of Alberta provides resources for asbestos abatement and control of asbestos during brake maintenance and repair.

Saskatchewan: WorkSafe Saskatchewan provides information about asbestos, as well as guidelines for managing asbestos in buildings. Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada with mandatory reporting of public buildings that contain asbestos. To search the registry or to report asbestos, go to Asbestos Registry of Public Buildings. The Government of Saskatchewan’s website also provides an overview of asbestos in Saskatchewan, as well as information on understanding, identifying and handling asbestos.

Manitoba: SafeWork Manitoba provides information about asbestos, downloadable resources that offer guidance on asbestos management and asbestos abatement, as well as fact sheets and bulletins (on, for example, asbestos in vermiculite insulation, managing asbestos in buildings, asbestos control plans, and what you need to know about asbestos). They also have an awareness campaign called Asbestos: Be Aware, aimed at homeowners, contractors or workers who are renovating, restoring or demolishing a home or building constructed before 1990.

Ontario: The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has a webpage with frequently asked questions about asbestos, as well as a series of resources on its health and safety topics and publications page. Here you will find: a guide to asbestos on construction projects, an alert on asbestos hazards in vehicle brake repair, links to forms (Notice of Project, Notice of Asbestos Removal Work, Asbestos Work Report) and relevant regulations (O. Reg. 278/05: Designated Substance - Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations, O. Reg. 490/09: Designated Substances, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 833: Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents). You can also find information and contact information for the Ministry’s health and safety partners (includes Ontario’s health and safety associations, the Workplace Safety Insurance Board, the Institute for Work and Health, the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, and others).

Québec: The Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ – Québec’s public health institute)’s has produced 15 publications 2003 that describe asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases in Québec’s general population and its workers. Its website also includes a page that provides additional information on asbestos in Québec (e.g., exposure limits, sector-specific exposures, effects of asbestos exposure on the health of the general population, effects of asbestos exposure on the health of Québec’s workers). Other resources for information on asbestos in Québec include: the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) and the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

Newfoundland and Labrador: The Occupational Health and Safety Branch of ServiceNL provides information on asbestos, guidelines for low risk asbestos abatement projects, as well as links to a list of registered asbestos abatement contractors and an asbestos abatement project notification form. A link to the asbestos regulations is available via WorkplaceNL’s website.

Nova Scotia: The Environmental Health branch of the Department of Health and Wellness provides general information on asbestos. The Department of Labour and Advanced Education’s website provides two guidelines on asbestos abatement: A Guide to Assessment & Management of Asbestos in the Workplace and A Guide to Removal of Friable Asbestos Containing Material.

New Brunswick: WorkSafeNB provides links to resources on asbestos, including the regulation on working with asbestos-containing materials, a code of practice for working with asbestos-containing materials and a hazard alert on asbestos exposure during automotive repair.

Prince Edward Island: The Workers Compensation Board of PEI’s website includes information on asbestos in its Guide to Workplace Safety for Construction Sites and Prevention Update – Asbestos Hazards in Renovations and Demolitions and provides links to the regulations on asbestos, other asbestos resources and forms (Asbestos Notification Permit).

Yukon: The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board’s website includes links to relevant forms (Notice of Project, Asbestos Control Pre-Project Meeting), and legislation (Occupational Health and Safety Act, Occupational Health Regulations).

Northwest Territories & Nunavut: The Workers Safety and Compensation Commission’s website provides information on asbestos (in both French and English ) in its Asbestos Abatement Code of Practice, Asbestos Safety and Compliance Information Sheet, and its occupational health and safety app. Links are also provided to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, which sets out what employers are required to do to protect their workers from hazards of asbestos.