It has been a busy few weeks. So much so that we didn't have an opportunity to say "thank you" to cardiothoracic surgeon, author and television host, Dr. Mehmet Oz. In one of their columns, entitled Study finds that coal-tar pavement sealants are toxic to all, they recommended readers check out our site, Coal Tar Free America for more information on coal tar sealer pollution.
He and renowned physician, Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic, write a syndicated column on a variety of personal health issues called "Ask the Doctors."
In this particular instance a reader from Minnesota asked about what to do about a large church near their house who was planning to sealcoat their parking lot. They were concerned about the use of toxic coal tar pavement sealers.
The Doctors assured the reader that coal tar sealers had already been banned in Minnesota so there shouldn't be anything to worry about. But they did go on to talk about how toxic this product is to birds, fish, amphibians, plants, mammals, and humans. Oregon State University recently found that the toxicity is even greater than estimated before.
One thing I might add to the column is that folks need to be aware of the legacy of a coal tar sealed surface. These chemicals persist for years in the environment. The USGS found that these sealers continue to give off toxic levels of carcinogens as much as 8 years after they were installed. So the reader should not only be aware of new sources, but also be cognizant of legacy sources in their lives at home, school, work, place of worship and where you shop.
The Doctors' optimism is also appreciated:
"The word is getting out, but there isn’t yet a total ban."