Coal-Tar Pavement Sealants
In November 2009, the Springfield-Greene County Environmental Advisory Board presented City Council with a letter regarding the Board’s concerns about the use of coal-tar based pavement sealants. The issue was referred to the City Council Community Involvement Committee for further consideration.
- Environmental Advisory Board Letter (457k)
- City Letter to Local Sealant Businesses and Responses (1 mb)
Presentations to City Council
- 12/16/09 - Todd Wagner, City of Springfield Principal Stormwater Engineer (713k)
- 1/15/10 - Tom Ennis, City of Austin, Tx (4.36 mb)
- 2/24/10 - Pavement Coatings Technology Council (9.72 mb)
- 8/3/10 - Dr. Barbara Mahler and Dr. Peter Van Metre, USGS (8 mb).
The City contracted with the Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute at Missouri State University to conduct a study of PAH concentrations and sources in local waterways. The final report (pdf) was completed in October 2012.
Information and Other Studies on PAHs and Pavement Sealants
In an effort to provide unbiased, scientific information, we have only listed links to publications by government agencies and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Some journal articles are available as abstracts only but the full articles can be accessed at the Missouri State University library.
Basic Information on Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services PAH Fact Sheet
- National Toxicology Program Report on Carcinogens - PAHs
Effects of PAHs on Aquatic Life
- Nonadditive effects of PAHs on Early Vertebrate Development: mechanisms and implications for risk assessment (Toxicological Sciences, 2008)
- Perspective on Ecotoxicology of PAHs to Fish (Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 2007)
- Evaluation of Fish Early Life-Stage Toxicity Models of Chronic Embryonic Exposures to Complex Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Mixtures (Toxicological Sciences, 2004)
- EPA Ecological Toxicity Information on PAHs
Studies on the Environmental and Human Health Impacts of Pavement Sealants
The first two publications provide good summaries of the research to date.
- Coal-Tar-Based Pavement Sealcoat and PAHs: Implications for the Environment, Human Health, and Stormwater Management (Environmental Science & Technology, Jan 2012)
- USGS Fact Sheet - Summary of USGS Research. This fact sheet and links to many of the studies below can also be found on the USGS website.
- PAH volatilization following application of coal-tar-based pavement sealant (Atmospheric Environment, 2012)
- Volatilization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from coal-tar-sealed pavement (Chemosphere, 2012)
- Coal-tar pavement sealants might substantially increase children's PAH exposures (Environmental Pollution, 2012)
- Assessment of Water Quality of Runoff from Sealed Asphalt Surfaces (USEPA, Sept 2011)
- Contribution of PAHs from Coal-Tar Pavement Sealcoat and Other Sources to 40 U.S. Lakes (Science of the Total Environment, 2010)
- Contamination of Stormwater Pond Sediments by Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Minnesota (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, March 2010)
- Influence of Coal-Tar Sealcoat and Other Carbonaceous Materials on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Loading in an Urban Watershed (Environmental Science & Technology, 2010)
- Coal-Tar-Based Parking Lot Sealcoat: An Unrecognized Source of PAH to Settled House Dust (Environmental Science & Technology, 2010)
- Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Urban Stormwater, Madison, Wisconsin, 2005-08 (USGS, 2009)
- PAHs Underfoot: Contaminated Dust from Coal-Tar Sealcoated Pavement is Widespread in the United States (Environmental Science & Technology, 2009)
- Occurence of PAHs Below Coal-Tar-Sealed Parking Lots and Effects on Stream Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities (Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 2007)
- Parking Lot Sealcoat: A Major Source of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Urban and Suburban Environments (United States Geological Survey, 2006)
- The Effects of Coal Tar Based Pavement Sealer on Amphibian Development and Metamorphosis (Ecotoxicology, 2006)
- Parking Lot Sealcoat: An Unrecognized Source of Urban Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (Environmental Science & Technology, 2005)
- Response to Comment on “Parking Lot Sealcoat: An Unrecognized Source of Urban Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons” (Environmental Science & Technology, 2006)
What other communities/states have done (the following is not a complete list)
As of Sept 2012, there are bans in 29 cities/counties in Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, Illinois, and Maryland as well as Washington, D.C., and the State of Washington.
- Austin, Tx Coal-Tar Sealant Ban
- Dane County, Wisconsin Coal-Tar Sealant Ban
- Washington, D.C. Coal-Tar Sealant Ban
- State of Minnesota Coal-Tar Sealant Legislation
- Centerville, MN Coal-Tar Sealant Ban
- White Bear Lake, MN Coal-Tar Sealant Ban
- Circle Pines, MN Coal-Tar Sealant Ban
- Suffolk County, NY