COAL TAR -
Coal tar sealant is a thick, black goop applied to driveways, asphalt parking lots and playgrounds, primarily in the eastern United States. The sealcoat contains high levels of toxic chemicals that can cause cancer and environmental harm. It looks great - fresh, shiny and new - but the hidden harm far outweigh the benefit.
A huge problem is when it gets old and brittle and begins to flake off as dust. As coal tar sealant dust spreads, humans and animals can inhale it, swallow it or absorb it through their skin, and the toxic chemicals can wreak havoc on living organisms.
Children who live near parking lots coated with tar-based sealcoats ingest 14 times more PAHs than those who live next to unsealed lots, according to a 2012 study published in the Enviromental journal.
The same study, which was conducted by researchers at Baylor University and the U.S. Geological Survey, found that people living next to pavement coated with coal tar-based sealants have a cancer risk 38 times higher on average than those who don’t live in close proximity to the pavement sealer.
Sealcoat Bans and Alternatives
As awareness of the dangers of coal tar-based sealcoating has spread, state and local governments have begun banning the use of the products.
In 2006, Austin became the first United States city to ban the use of coal tar-based pavement sealants, and the crackdown appears to be working. By 2014, the level of PAH contaminants in Lady Bird Lake, a river-like reservoir on Austin’s Colorado River, declined by 58 percent, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study.
Several other cities and counties have followed suit, enacting bans and instituting enforcement actions for those who violate the bans. In Austin, for instance, the courts can require a person who violates the ban to clean up any contamination caused by application of the sealant. Violators can also face fines and jail time.
Read more here! https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/coal-tar-sealants/
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