Coal Sealants Reduction Act of 2011
Updates on Taking Action to Ban Coal Tar Sealants
Note: 1 in 4 contractors prefer to use coal tar in CA!) One ad in CA says: "Seal Coating is a complex mixture of chemicals specifically designed to protect asphalt pavements. It is a refined coal tar emulsion that is environmentally safe and practically odorless and is harmless to people."
Clean Water Network strongly supports The Coal Tar Sealants Reduction Act of 2011, a proposed bill to ban the use of coal tar sealant. This bill would protect public health and the environment by banning the use of this unnecessary poison.
Coal tar sealant is a highly toxic product frequently applied on parking lots, driveways, airport runways and even playgrounds to “beautify” asphalt. Within a few months after application, friction from car tires abrades the coal tar sealant into small particles, which are then washed into our rivers, bays, and estuaries during storm events. Coal tar sealant contains high amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of which are suspected human carcinogens and toxic to aquatic life.
Studies conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have found that storm water runoff from parking lots coated in coal tar sealant, contained 65 times higher concentrations of PAHs than runoff from parking lots that did not use coal tar sealant. USGS scientists have also discovered that coal tar sealant use is the primary cause of the rise in PAHs concentrations in urban lakes across the United States. The primary concern with PAHs in rivers, lakes and other water bodies is the negative impact they have on aquatic life, especially “bottom dweller” species that live in the mud and sediment where PAHs accumulate. The public can be exposed to toxic PAHs through a variety of pathways, including: direct skin contact, inhalation of wind-blown particles, and inhalation of fumes that volatilize.
Because of the growing concern over potential public health risks and threats to aquatic ecosystems from the use of coal tar sealants, municipalities around the country have started banning this poisonous product. In 2006 Austin, TX became the first city to ban coal tar sealants and several others have followed, including the City of Washington, DC. Earlier this year, Washington became the first state to ban the product. The proposed bill supports these local and state efforts to protect citizens from this dangerous and unnecessary product that contains probable human carcinogens and aquatic toxins.
We applaud Congressman Doggett for championing this important piece of legislation.
Clean Water Network strongly supports The Coal Tar Sealants Reduction Act of 2011, a proposed bill to ban the use of coal tar sealant. This bill would protect public health and the environment by banning the use of this unnecessary poison. We applaud Congressman Lloyd Doggett for championing this important legislation.