MERN - Québec Mines - Policy Concerning the Increased and Safe Use of Chrysotile Asbestos

August 2002

Policy Concerning the Increased and Safe Use of Chrysotile Asbestos
Gilles Mahoney
Ministère des Ressources naturelles

On June 19, 2002, the gouvernement du Québec adopted a "Policy concerning the increased and safe use of chrysotile asbestos". An interdepartmental workgroup, involving 13 departments and organizations, and presided by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles, worked during one full year to put together this policy.

The objective of this policy is to encourage departments and government agencies, as well as Crown corporations and municipalities to increase their use of products containing chrysotile. Québec currently processes about 2% of its chrysotile asbestos production (6,000 tonnes out of a total output of some 300,000 tonnes per year) and the gouvernement du Québec hopes to double this domestic consumption in the medium term, by increasing the use of materials containing chrysotile, namely chrysotile-cement pipes and sheets, as well as bituminous pavement with chrysotile asbestos. Organizations targeted by the policy shall have the obligation to make sure that suppliers of chrysotile products that meet policy standards are invited to submit proposals when these organizations proceed with calls for tenders and acquisitions of goods. The policy also provides for assistance measures for the development and marketing of new products that contain chrysotile.

The implementation of this policy will be coordinated by the workgroup that elaborated the policy, and it will be accompanied by measures designed to ensure the safety of workers and the public in general, which will essentially be overseen by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the Ministère de l’Environnement and the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail.


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