It’s that time of the year when the days get warmer and Wisconsinites start their spring cleaning. For some, that means re-sealing their driveways, but certain pavement sealants can be harmful to both the environment and public health due to having high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH.

In this episode, we sit down with Clean Wisconsin’s water resource specialist Ezra Meyer and staff scientist Paul Mathewson to explain what PAHs are and how certain pavement sealants are toxic to the landscape and the health of Wisconsinites. We also talk with the former mayor of Port Washington to discuss what the town did to help curb PAH exposure and what the state government can do, as well.

Background Reading

  • Clean Wisconsin is a leading voice to end the use of high-PAH pavement sealants around the state. Read more on how they impact residents and the environment here.
  • Read more from Paul Mathewson how high-PAH pavement sealants affect public health.
  • Tip when looking for alternatives to high-PAH pavement sealants: Tar can have a lot of different names, and some other byproducts can have very high levels of PAHs. To be safe, check the “Material Safety Data Sheet” of the product (try searching online) and avoid anything including CAS #’s 64742-90-1, 65996-92-1, 65996-93-2, 65996-89-6, 69013-21-4, or 8007-45-2.

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