Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Substance used to seal asphalt puts children at greater risk of cancer


The substance is often called pitch or tar and is made from coal tar. It's similar to the creosote used to water-seal telephone poles and railroad ties. And it functions as a sealant for aging asphalt roads, parking lots and driveways showing cracks and openings. There is a problem though: the sticky stuff is full of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), which are highly toxic and carcinogenic.

Thus far, two states, Washington and Minnesota, have banned the sale and use of coal tar sealants. Cities like Austin, TX, Madison, WI, and Washington, DC, have led the way in banning coal tar sealants, with around 40 local communities joining them. California is slowly getting to its own statewide measure for banning PAH sealants, and activists in Illinois are pushing for it also.

The stuff is sprayed manually or poured from open spigots lining the rear width of tanker trucks driving over roads blocked off for construction. It also has been the main sealant used for weathered parking lots and driveways; anywhere there's asphalt, these PAH-filled coal tar sealants can be used.

So how does this affect you and your kids?

After the job is done, walking on or around the area will fill your nostrils with the pungent chemical odors letting you know that the aromatic part of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are doing their thing, especially if the sun's out. That means you and others are breathing in carcinogenic and toxic PAHs.

A little here and there could perhaps be less dangerous. But it's estimated that each year about 85 million gallons of this carcinogenic toxic waste is painted across 170 square miles of American cities and suburbs, areas as big as the whole city of New Orleans. And, often, those PAH gases will keep on releasing or off-gassing for weeks or months.

Although gasoline-driven vehicles also release PAHs, coal tar sealants are more PAH-dense and generally release more of the chemicals than all the cars in the USA.

For the rest of the story: http://www.naturalnews.com/044236_asphalt_sealant_cancer_risk_childrens_health.html

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