javascript:; California on the Road to Being Coal Tar Free | Coal Tar Free America

The transportation agency for the State of California, CalTrans, has committed to be coal tar free!  Some have said that coal tar sealants aren't really used on the West Coast, but there is a fair bit of evidence to the contrary.  Several months ago I wrote a piece about a poll of 1000 sealant applicators across the country that asked their sealant preference. While non-scientific, in California, 23% prefer to use coal tar sealant. This is higher than the 14% in the State of Washington that, as you may know, was the first to ban in May of 2011.

Finding out how much is actually being used in California is difficult to say and finding what contractors are selling it is a bit murky. Because of negative publicity about coal tar sealants, contractors are now scrubbing their websites and advertising of the words "coal tar." In spite of this one California contractor continues to make this incredible claim:

"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."

Wow, how is that legal to make such claims?!  It illustrates the problem we have with such a poorly regulated industry.  The unscrupulous applicator says whatever it takes to apply their products.

Recently CalTrans re-affirmed their commitment to be coal tar sealant free after some old coal tar sealant specifications got into a bid packet.  This error was reversed prior to more toxic sealant being applied, but it demonstrates the challenge of institutions translating "board room" talk to the "factory floor."  Thank you CalTrans for eliminating the use of this product!  A copy of the letter can be found  here.

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Anonymous said... March 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM

this site is ignorant and stupid and backed up with no legitament scientific facts. the truth is that the USGS has had to take back its own false claims exactly like the ones that are being made here. all this web site is is scare tactic propaganda. I've worked in a coal tar refinery for almost 23 years and im in excellent health along with all the guys I work with 2 of whom are about to retire after working here for 45 years.

Anonymous said... February 3, 2016 at 2:51 PM

A.) this is just one website and many others just like it are online, many are from government agencies! B.) if toxic chemicals were all that easy to see the effects of in everyone then we would have better health as a nation, but instead we have a bunch of hillbillies running around shouting bs at everythibg that scares them or costs them money, and the highest rate of cancer and other pollutant related diseases in the world.... C.) If I were you, i would find some wood to knock on before that cancer settles in. Skepticism wont save you

art mcgovern said... May 27, 2016 at 10:36 AM

The study that addresses the weathering of coal tar, a legitimate scientific study never seems to be addressed in any of imaginefacts put out by alarmists.
The major sources of pah concentration are ignored. Let's ask the money question. Who benefits if protecting bituminous pavement (asphalt) with tar products is curtailed? The obvious answer is the asphalt paving industry. These are the people who say the answer is 'put down more asphaltic pavement' while not stating the total lane mile/tonnage of pollution that is generated.
The other source, tire wear, is not even considered.
let's remember that the ban tar groups are the same ilk as the global freeze alarmists --- that never happened --- the man made global warming alarmists who ignored ice caps melting on Mars (no SUV's there).
Real scientific study, USACE, shows that the Tar Alarmist alternative, asphalt emulsion sealcoat, actually accelerates aging of pavement, resulting in more pollution, and higher costs.

Coal Tar Free America said... May 28, 2016 at 3:16 AM

Sorry that plain, repeatable scientific review of coal tar sealers is so offensive. It appears that your frustration or anger or something is blocking your ability to see the simple truth of this issue. My family used coal tar in roofing for several generations. Let it go and learn about this. Or just wait and either the marketplace or the government will assist you.