Risky Business- David Stanley McRobert

This guide reviews the federal and provincial laws, regulations and policies that govern the proper use, management, containment/removal, transport and disposal of asbestos and asbestos waste in Ontario. It also outlines the public’s right to have input on these activities through the avenues provided by various laws including the Environmental Protection Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) and other laws. This guide also responds to ongoing public concern about the potential human health risks associated with the removal or accidental dislodgement of asbestos materials in buildings and other structures, as well as the handling and disposal of used products that may contain asbestos. Provincial jurisdiction over the management of asbestos risks is generally shared between the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Labour (MOL). In the past 15 years, tens of thousands of Ontario residents have contacted the MOL and MOE and various other federal, provincial, and municipal agencies to request information about asbestos and the risks associated with its handling and disposal. Breathing in air-borne asbestos fibres whether in the workplace or at home can result in a number of serious diseases, including asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma (a type of cancer), lung cancer and other forms of cancer. As a result, the federal and provincial governments have passed a number of laws designed to minimize the public’s exposure to asbestos, both in the workplace and the general environment.