Auto recyclers call for ban on importation of asbestos brake pads

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Toronto, Ontario — April 12, 2016 — The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) is adding its voice in support of a call for federal policies to effectively eliminate the import and use of asbestos in Canada. In particular asbestos brake pads carry health risks when it comes to recycling end-of-life vehicles.

Every year approximately 1.6 million vehicles reach their end-of-life in Canada. These vehicles require proper end-of-life management including depollution, dismantling for parts salvage and metals recycling.

Asbestos brake pads are not currently in use by any OEMs, but according to a statement from ARC, aftermarket brake pads are one of the largest categories of asbestos containing products imported into the country. In the last 10 years, Canada has imported more than $100 million in asbestos brake pads and linings.

The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change recently put into effect regulations requiring automotive recyclers to recycle ELVs to set environmental standards. These standards include the removal of asbestos brake pads prior to compaction of vehicle hulks.

“For an auto recycler there is no way to know whether a brake pad contains asbestos or not,” says Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of ARC. ” In Ontario, every pad will need to be removed and where the recycler encounters an asbestos brake pad there is inevitably going to be some release of asbestos particulate into the air. This is an unacceptable and wholly unnecessary risk. Asbestos brake pads should simply not exist in Canada. We are calling for the federal Ministers of Health and Environment and Climate Change to act now.”

For more information on ARC, please visit


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