javascript:; USGS to Brief Congress on Coal Tar Sealant Pollution | Coal Tar Free America

With the federal budget crisis averted, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) will brief Congress on the results of their research on this topic. The following notice gives the details. This briefing is sponsored by a non-partisan, non-profit scientific group; a technical water quality group with 36,000 members; and the Congressional leader on this topic.

We have covered the USGS work before on this blog with a few enhancements.

  • a layman's guide to the USGS research
  • a survey of the contribution of coal tar sealants to 40 lakes across the country
  • the indoor dust study that showed strong connection between cts sealant use on a parking lot and elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in house dust (this was first covered in the national media in a story by MSNBC in January 2010).
If you plan on attending you may want to watch where you step.  Several of the lots around the Capitol appear to be sealed with coal tar.  If you can't attend, check out the video to your right or on YouTube.  It is the same researcher explaining in lay terms the problem of coal tar sealants.
PAHs Increasing in Urban U.S. Lakes

Thursday, April 14, 2011
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
H-137 U.S. Capitol Building

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and Office of Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) invite you to a briefing featuring
new national findings from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on increasing levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban lakes studied in 40 cities from Anchorage, Alaska, to Orlando, Florida.

PAHs are widespread in the environment and are a significant environmental topic because several are probable human carcinogens, they are toxic to fish and other aquatic life, and their concentrations have been increasing in urban lakes in recent decades.

The speaker for this briefing is:

Barbara Mahler, Scientist, National Water Quality Assessment Program, U.S. Geological Survey 

New USGS findings highlight major sources associated with the increasing PAHs. Findings show, for example, that coal-tar-based pavement sealant is a much larger source of PAHs to urban lakes than previously identified sources, such as vehicle emissions, used motor oil, and tire particles. The sealants are used on parking lots, driveways, and playgrounds but rarely used on roads. Additionally, USGS studies show that levels of PAHs in the dust of residences adjacent to parking lots with coal-tar-based sealants are about 25 times higher than in the dust of residences near other surface types.

This briefing is held in cooperation with the USGS Office of Water Quality and its National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program.
This briefing is free and open to the public. No RSVP required.
For more information, contact Laura Parsons at lparsons [at] or (202) 662-1884

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