The conversation about coal tar pavement sealers has taken place in many areas around the country, but in Oklahoma it has been pretty quiet over the last decade--until now.
Last week, KFOR-TV, Oklahoma City broke that silence with 4 and a half minute piece on their 10 pm news. It included a description of what the problem is, where it is used, an interview with the USGS and most notably an interview with Dr. Robert Lynch, of the Oklahoma University College of Public Health.
Here's what Dr. Lynch said:
"My advice is not to use it at all anytime, by anyone, anywhere,” Dr. Robert Lynch, of the OU College of Public Health, says. Dr. Lynch is talking about PAH’S or Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. They are found in coal-tar sealants often found in pavement sealants.
“These compounds have been widely tested for years. We know that they cause cancers in animals. There is no doubt about that...”
So far Washington and Minnesota have outlawed coal-tar sealants. Some cities and counties in Texas, Illinois, New York and Maryland have also passed bans.
But in Oklahoma, Lynch said that is not the case.“We should know better,” Lynch says.Let's hope this is the start of a better future for the people of Oklahoma.