"Coal tar needs to be banned, and we feel strongly that we need to do our part," said Curt Shaw of AISD. About half of the district's 130 schools have coal tar on the parking lots or playgrounds. Cleanup will begin with 6 elementary schools that have coal tar on the playgrounds and move on to parking lots.
The problem of coal tar pollution at schools has been covered on this site previously:
- Our Babies Are Exposed to Tar at Unsafe Levels at School
- Austin School District Nears Landmark Decision on Coal Tar Sealants
- Michigan School Wrestles With Coal Tar Sealant Issue
The announcement comes less than a month after the publishing of a toxicologist's research into the cancer risk of children exposed to sealant dust. Dr. Spencer Williams of Baylor University said the risks exceed 1 in 10,000. A video of Dr. William's findings can be found here. One in a million is the standard that the EPA usually strives for.
The exact method of removal was not specified, but the technique of "shotblasting" was first used to remove coal tar sealant in Austin and has subsequently been used in Washington, DC.