Asphalt Sealant: "Are Our Playgrounds and Parking Lots Safe?"

"AUSTIN, Texas -- A cancer-causing sealant that covers thousands of parking lots, school playgrounds and driveways in Austin and Travis County has officials debating over its effect on human health.

Coal tar, a byproduct of the steelmaking process, contains toxic amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that have been proven to cause cancer in laboratory animals and in workers exposed to high concentrations of the sealant.

While coal tar usage was banned in the city in 2006, more than 15,000 surfaces that were paved prior to that date still exist, and most of them are covered with coal tar. Thousands more exist outside the city, where there is no regulation of coal tar sealants at all."

Tony Tucci reports for the Oak Hill Gazette September 16, 2009.

Thursday, September 17, 2009