Consider sending a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper on Coal Tar Sealants
LWVIL has supported legislation to ban coal tar sealants for three years. Several local Leagues have or are currently supporting local bans, but this is only an option for those in home rule municipalities at this time. This amended bill is not the bill that we've been hoping for, but it will afford a choice to all Illinois communities.
Coal tar pavement seal-coatings contain high levels of PAHs. PAHs are known carcinogens, cause birth defects and are toxic to aquatic life. Direct (skin) contact, inhalation of fumes from, and ingestion of the dust of these sealants endanger public health and the environment.
Over time, the sealant flakes off as dust which enters nearby homes, schools, and community facilities, increasing children's exposure to PAHs. Children with elevated levels of PAHs face increased risk of health problems, including a much higher risk of cancer throughout their lives. Those who experience fetal exposure (i.e., born to women with elevated levels of PAHs while pregnant) are more likely to be diagnosed with learning problems like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The sealant dust is also washed into nearby waters including Lake Michigan by stormwater runoff and collects in the sediment of streams and lakes. PAHs are toxic to aquatic organisms at the bottom of the food chain, disrupting the entire ecosystems.
Pavement seal-coatings that contain much lower levels of PAHs are readily available, at comparable or even reduced cost.
Templates of a letter we encourage you to send on behalf of yourself or your local league are included here in both Word and pdf