Coal tar sealant linked to toxic chemicals in water, air

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Pavement in the Great Lakes region is often coated with coal tar sealants to protect it from the elements. The sealed surfaces put toxic chemicals in air and water long after application, according to a recent study in Environmental Science and Technology.

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Texas Water Science Center found that coal tar sealed surfaces are a major source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds. Not all PAH compounds are the same, but some are highly carcinogenic and some have been linked to problems in children, like low IQ scores, asthma and premature births.

The chemicals are also toxic to wildlife.

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