Newport News: 20th Minnesota Sealant Ban Passed!

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 22nd, 2012

banned coal tar
The City of Newport, Minnesota (population 3,435) became the 20th community in Minnesota to pass a ban of coal tar sealers. Last week’s passage of the ban was confirmed earlier today by Renee Helm, the Executive Analyst for Newport. The community is just a 15 minute drive to Minneapolis and is primarily residential.

The City is yet another suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul area community that has found it is better to stop the expensive contamination of area ponds by eliminating this product. The cost of the cleanup of these ponds has been estimated by the State of Minnesota to be more than a billion dollars.

Kudos to State Representative Bev Scalze who had the insight to create funding for a portion of the costs to clean up these ponds in Minnesota and to the staff at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for their insight on how to further the work of the USGS with a Minnesota context.


Posted in DANGERS OF COAL TAR SEALANT by Administrator on the April 30th, 2012

There are many reasons you need to warn others the dangers of coal tar asphalt sealant. If where you live is not on the list below then you need to know the dangers of the exposure to coal tar sealant.

Coal tar is a liquid used as a protective sealant for pavement around the nation. This type of sealant made with coal tar is widespread, and marketed as a means for keeping parking lot pavement in good condition for a longer period of time. However, a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides substantial evidence that these sealants emit highly toxic contaminants, known as aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), into the atmosphere at higher rates than vehicular emissions.

Coal tar sealant, which is comprised of 50% PAHs, can be found on many parking lots, playgrounds, and driveways around the United States. Sealant made with coal tar is found disproportionately in central and eastern America—85 million gallons of coal tar is used each year. Why should we be so concerned? Put simply, PAHs can cause cancer and a host of growth and development abnormalities and deformities, making children’s exposure to the contaminant especially troubling.

These contaminants are finding ways indoors as well as outdoors. For a while now, scientists have believed PAHs through food consumption to be the primary method by which children are exposed. However, further studies by Baylor University and the USGS maintain that children living in close proximity to pavement sealed with coal tar are exposed to twice the amount of PAHs through ingestion of contaminated dust than from food. Ingestion of contaminated dust particles by children living near coal-tar-sealed pavement is 14 times higher than children living near unsealed pavement.

Such widespread use of coal tar is unnecessary because there are suitable alternatives. Asphalt-based sealant is used mostly on the west coast of the United States, and is a viable alternative. Asphalt-based products have 1/1000th of the PAH levels that coal products have. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted studies of its own concerning run-off from coal tar. One study, the Assessment of Water Quality of Runoff from Sealed Asphalt Surfaces, found runoff from coal tar based sealant to be exponentially more potent in PAHs than asphalt based sealant. The EPA concluded that banning coal tar altogether might be the most cost effective way to combat the pollution problems caused by the sealant in the long run.

To date, a number of state governments have banned the use of coal tar sealant. Coal tar based sealant is also banned in the European Union. It would seem that a national ban on such a noxious substance is the next logical step. Please sign below to urge the EPA to adopt a safe nationwide policy.
This list covers communities with an outright prohibition on the use of coal tar sealants:

Austin, TX
Austin Ban Illustrates Prudent Pollution Prevention
Austin Now a Million Pounds Lighter
Industry “Study” Says Ban Has No Effect

Bee Cave, TX

Buffalo, MN
Add Buffalo, MN to List of Coal Tar Sealant Bans

Cannon Falls, MN
Cannon Falls Out of Love with Coal Tar Sealants

Centerville, MN
“Bans Won’t Affect Business in Long-Term” says MN Sealant CEO

Circle Pines, MN

Dane County, WI
Badger State Ban Breakers Face Bigger Fines

Edina, MN
Edina Becomes Minnesota’s 13th Community to Ban Coal Tar Sealants

Falcon Heights, MN
Falcon Heights Sets Its Sights on Being Coal Tar Free

Golden Valley, MN

Inver Grove Heights, MN
Cleanup Costs “Huge Problem,” Drives Another Minnesota Town Toward a Coal Tar Sealant Ban
12th Minnesota Town Says “NO” to Coal Tar Sealants

Home Depot Stores Throughout US
CTS vs. Asphalt-Based Sealant: How Do the Costs Compare?

Little Canada, MN
Oh Canada Passes Coal Tar Sealant Ban

Lowes Stores Throughout US
TODAY Health Recommendation: Keep Toxins Out of Your House; Stop Using Coal Tar Sealants

Maplewood, MN

New Hope, MN

Prior Lake, MN
Prior Lake Now 8th Minnesota City to Ban Coal Tar Sealants

Rosemount, MN
16th Minnesota Community to Pass a Coal Tar Sealer Ban: Rosemont

Roseville, MN
Roseville, MN: No More Peddling Coal Tar Here!

Shoreview, MN
Bans Keep Rolling in Minnesota; Shoreview Now the 17th

Suffolk County, NY
Industry Whiffs at Ban Veto Pitch in Suffolk County
Key Long Island County Rejects Coal Tar Sealants

Vadnais Heights, MN
Holy Tar Balls! Most Coal Tar for CTS is Imported!

Washington, DC
DC Ban Violator Successfully Removes Toxic Sealant!
DC Ban a Prototype of Future Federal Action?

State of Washington
“We Are the First, We Won’t Be the Last,” Ban Officially Passes Washington Legislature!
America Responds to Washington Ban
Washington State Ban Official Today! Bans Now Affect Nearly 9 Million!
White Bear Lake, MN
Cleanup Costs “Huge Problem,” Drives Another Minnesota Town Toward a Coal Tar Sealant Ban

Winfield, KS
Industry Seeks, Gains Delay of Sealant Ban
Another State With a Municipal Sealant Ban

This list covers jurisdictions where special restrictions limiting the use of coal tar sealants are in effect.

Andover, MA
Andover Wetland Regulations

Boone, NC
Tar Heel Town Tackles Toxic Sealant
Another Coal Tar Sealant Spill

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Wicked Wetland Regs Limit Coal Tar Sealant Use

Sudbury, MA

This list covers jurisdictions that have restricted the use of coal tar only by the jurisdictions themselves and not their constituents.

CalTrans (California’s department of transportation)
California on the Road to Being Coal Tar Free!

DuPage County/Salt Creek Work Group (IL)
(representing about 1,000,000 citizens in suburban Chicago)
Chicago Area Watershed Group Adds Another Million Citizens Under Government Use Restrictions

Lake in the Hills, IL
Chicago Tribune: Toxic Goop on Driveway May Be Tracked Into Home

McHenry County, IL
Great New Resource for Coal Tar Info

State of Minnesota
UConn PAH Seminar: Human Cancer Risks Unacceptable; More New Challenges for Coal Tar Sealants

Spring Grove, IL

Springfield, MO
Unofficial USGS Video Series Now Online

PLEASE BE INFORMED AND TELL OTHERS WE at WSAM are proud we DO NOT USE COAL TAR SEALANT. If you do not choose us for your asphalt maintenance needs SHOP WITH CARE!

EPA Says it is more dangerous than we thought!

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the April 1st, 2012

Based upon new research from the EPA which has been reviewed by an independent team of scientists, the cancer causing potency of coal tar sealants may be going up–a lot! How much? Over 800% higher!

Basically the report seeks to update our understanding of the carcinogenic potential of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixtures like coal tar sealants and other solutions (oils, products, smoke, etc.). The EPA sent it out for a draft review in Feb 2010. In March 2011 a review by leading non-EPA scientists was completed on the validity of the findings. In general they found the assumptions and approach adequate, but asked for more research. How or if EPA will address these recommendations is unclear.

The EPA recommends the addition of 18 more PAH chemicals to the relative potency factor (RPF) calculation. Some of these chemicals are not widely tested for and it is difficult to say the impact on the RPF, but there is enough information to estimate a minimum potential increase. Contrary to what the sealant industry has said in public, these factors are going up. The EPA scientists find that PAH mixtures are more toxic than was believed to be when they were proposed in 1993.

My calculations indicate the RPF for an average coal tar sealant will increase at a minimum over 800% over current potency estimations with the real chance of going higher with additional information! That’s big. How would this affect human health and sealants? They maybe more likely to cause cancer than was previously estimated, but there are additional questions that the independent scientists asked the EPA that may affect the cancer potential of specific exposure types.

Do you have to go out to every job for an estimate?

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 24th, 2009

Absolutely! Every job has its own special needs. We never give a blanket price for a neighborhood like some of our competition does because we want to make sure you know exactly what you will need to make sure your driveway will last as long as possible.

We believe in taking our time with each and every customer. Whether your drive way is 300,000 square feet or 500 square feet our customers are the most important. We intend to build relationships that will last a lifetime.

How soon in the season should I seal coat?

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 6th, 2009

When is the best time to seal coat a drive way? That depends on where you are at in the county.

Here in the mid west we could start sealing as early as April. This year however, we are starting a little later because of our weather conditions. In order to get the optimum performance from your seal coating you MUST wait until the temperature outside is at least 50 degrees for 24 hours after application.

NO manufacturers of sealer will not honor any warranty if these conditions have not been met. West Suburban Asphalt stands behind ALL of their work. Call to ask about our guarantees we offer.

Hello world!

Posted in The best time to Seal Coat. by Administrator on the May 6th, 2009

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