In Canada, current exposure to asbestos is highest for people who work with it in construction, maintenance in certain industries (i.e. smelting, petroleum, refining and pulp and paper), and repair of automotive brakes and ships. In the past when asbestos was stilled mined in Canada, people who mined and milled asbestos or who worked with it in manufacturing had the highest exposure. People who work with asbestos can expose their families if fibres come home on them or their clothing.
As of 2015, over 50 countries have banned the use of all forms of asbestos. Until recently, Canada was one of the few countries that continued to mine chrysotile asbestos, but in 2012 the asbestos mines stopped operating.
You may be exposed to asbestos from imported materials or products that contain asbestos. Some existing structures, particularly older buildings, might contain asbestos. As these structures begin to wear with age or undergo renovation, you can be exposed to asbestos fibres that are released into the air and breathed into the lungs.