Avoid hazards of coal tar asphalt sealcoats

UW-Extension offers guidelines to help communities, businesses reduce costs to health and environment

Contact: David S. Liebl, 608-265-2360, liebl@epd.engr.wisc.edu

Madison, Wis.–Most of us are familiar with the odor and deep black appearance of freshly sealcoated asphalt. Sealcoats are used to improve the appearance and prolong the life of driveways and parking lots.

Some sealcoat products contain coal tar, a byproduct of coke manufacturing, which is a health and environmental hazard.

A new series of fact sheets produced by the UW-Extension Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center discusses the toxicity, health and environmental hazards of coal tar and suggests ways to reduce risk.

Topics covered by the fact sheets include:

Coal Tar-Based Asphalt Sealcoats – A Health and Environmental Hazard

Keeping Coal Tar Out of School Yards

Avoiding High Costs from Stormwater Sediment Contaminated by Coal Tar-Based Sealcoats

Avoiding Coal Tar-Based Asphalt Sealcoats 

Choosing a Coal Tar-Free Sealcoat

Following the lead of Dane County and the State of Washington, Minnesota recently enacted a ban on the sale and use of coal tar-based asphalt sealcoats that will take effect in January 2014, bringing the entire state in line with bans already in place in 28 Minnesota counties.

To learn more about UW-Extension’s work to enhance Wisconsin’s environment and economy, visit the Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center on the web at http://www4.uwm.edu/shwec/index.cfm

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