Physicians' group calls for ban on cancer-causing pavement sealcoats

The nation’s leading association for physicians is calling for legislation banning the use of coal-tar-seal coats on pavement and playgrounds across the country.

The American Medical Association has adopted a new policy to reduce the use of these pavement sealcoats containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which increase the risk of cancer by 38 percent in those who’ve experienced lifelong exposure.

“Whether they are sending their children to a playground or repairing a driveway, Americans are potentially being exposed to harmful carcinogens in coal-tar-based sealcoats,” Albert Osbahr III, an AMA Board member, said in a statement.

“Even if one’s exposure is limited, as sealcoats erode over time, PAHs leach into the water, soil, and air, finding their way into sediment and eventually into aquatic wildlife.”

Washington, Minnesota and Washington, D.C. have banned the sale of these products.