Recently someone started an online petition drive to support a nationwide ban of coal tar pavement sealants. I am not sure what the current tally is, but I would encourage anyone who understands this issue to go to this link and sign this petition. The following letter will be sent to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency in your name. The link to the petition is here.
Dear Environmental Protection Agency,
The time for a nationwide ban on coal tar sealant is now. Such a wide base of evidence exists supporting a ban for environmental, health and economic reasons, that not enacting one would be to ignore scientific fact.
Recent studies by the U.S. Geological Survey and Baylor University identify the dangerous potential of coal tar sealant. Not only do coal tar-based products contain 1,000 times higher levels of PAHs than asphalt-based products, but there is evidence suggesting that PAHs released from coal tar sealant may be emitted at higher rates than released from vehicles.
PAHs, which are carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic, are also finding their way inside homes where children are especially susceptible. From the study conducted by the USGS, researchers found children living in close proximity to pavement sealed with coal tar to receive more than 14 times higher incidence of PAH exposure from accidental ingestion of dust particles than children living near unsealed pavement.
So far, a number of states in the U.S. have motioned to and successfully banned coal tar sealant—the European Union has also banned coal tar products. It does not make sense to keep using such a poisonous, toxic substance when there are alternatives. Asphalt-based sealant products have significantly smaller PAHsconcentrations than coal tar and are much less toxic.
Please consider a nationwide ban on coal tar based products. This ban is in the best interest of the environment and public health, and will be the most economically viable option in the long term.
[Your Name Here]