Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) in Sealants - Stormwater Impact Studies

Collaborative studies by the City of Austin, TX, and the U. S. Geological Survey have identified coal-tar based sealcoat as a major and previously unrecognized source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination. Several PAHs are suspected human carcinogens and are toxic to aquatic life.

Studies in Austin, Texas, showed that particles in runoff from coal-tar based sealcoated parking lots have concentrations of PAHs that are about 65 times higher than concentrations in particles washed off parking lots that have not been sealcoated. Biological studies, conducted by the City of Austin in the field and in the laboratory, indicate that PAH levels in sediment contaminated with abraded sealcoat are toxic to aquatic life and are degrading aquatic communities.

This research has led the City of Austin to ban the use of coal-tar sealants for roads, parking lots, driveways, and other paved areas.

Caltha LLP assists private and public sector clients in evaluating potential stormwater pollution sources and developing cost effective stormwater pollution prevention programs to minimize their environmental impacts.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
Caltha LLP Website

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