Take Action to Protect Wisconsin families from PAH pollution!

Pavement sealants—the jet-black coatings that are applied on parking lots and driveways—may seem harmless. But some sealants contain high levels of toxic chemicals that pose health risks to our kids and aquatic ecosystems.

Coal tar-based sealants contain high levels of toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. These cancer-causing toxins are harmful to humans, they pollute our rivers and lakes where they affect fish, frogs, and other aquatic life, and they are expensive for municipalities to clean up.

Young children are the most vulnerable to health effects from high-PAH sealants. Children living from birth to age 6 near parking lots treated with tar-based sealants are estimated to have a 14-times higher lifetime cancer risk.

Scientific research has repeatedly shown that these sealants are a major source of these PAHs to our environment. While this is a cause for concern, the good news is that alternative, effective products are widely available for a similar cost. Many communities in Wisconsin and around the country have proactively protected their residents, lakes, and rivers by prohibiting the use of high-PAH pavement sealants.  

Currently, 30% of Wisconsin residents are covered by a local ban on high-PAH sealants, but that still leaves 70% of residents unprotected from the harms these pavement sealants create. That’s why a statewide ban is so important.

Thankfully, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Joel Kitchens and Sen. Rob Cowles have proposed a bill prohibiting the sale and use of harmful high-PAH pavement sealants statewide to address this source of toxic pollution, protect our waterways and local taxpayers.

Assembly Bill 131/Senate Bill 152 has been introduced in the legislature and is up for public comment. We do not need coal tar and other high-PAH sealants in Wisconsin. Tell your elected officials to support this bill to protect Wisconsin families and our beloved waters from PAH pollution!