Asbestos in Public Services and Procurement Canada-owned buildings

For most of the 20th century, asbestos was commonly used in both residential and commercial building products. For more information on asbestos, please visit Health Canada's Web site.

Non-friable asbestos has been used in limited applications by the Government and the construction industry in North America. The National Building Code permits the use of non-friable asbestos and can be used in limited applications like resilient flooring, fire retardant boards, and for some piping.

In early 2016, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) undertook a review of the use of asbestos in PSPC facilities to address health and safety concerns. It determined that alternate materials were available for use in construction projects and major rehabilitation.

On April 1, 2016, PSPC prohibited the use of asbestos in its new construction and major renovation projects.

The Department takes great care to manage and control the risks associated with the product in PSPC-owned buildings that contain asbestos in accordance with the legislative requirements as set out by the applicable acts and regulations for health and safety.

The Department exercises due diligence to manage and control the risks associated with the product in PSPC-owned buildings that contain asbestos. This is done through building specific Asbestos Management Plans and the implementation of appropriate corrective actions, such as asbestos abatement and encapsulation. Asbestos is removed or encapsulated when there is risk to health and safety or there is a requirement for maintenance or renovation that results in the unavoidable disturbance of asbestos-containing materials. Furthermore, PSPC conducts annual inspection and reporting on identified asbestos-containing materials within the building as per regulations.

The combination of these activities, managed within existing applicable regulations and departmental health and safety policies, ensures that the health and safety risks associated with asbestos are managed and controlled.

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