What Can Individuals Do?

What Can Individuals Do?


Coal-tar sealcoats are sprayed or brushed on asphalt parking lots, driveways, and roads every several years to improve their appearance, protect against weather and wear and extend their life. Studies have shown that as much as 50%-75% of PAH contamination found in the sediment throughout the Great Lakes region comes directly from coal-tar sealcoats.

If you intend on sealing your driveway or parking lot, first off, check to make sure it is necessary. If so, do not use coal tar products. Instead, look for more environmentally friendly products such as asphalt based sealers. Check out our list of contractors to find someone in your area, or view our map. If you do it yourself, be sure to check the ingredients and skip the products with coal tar.

If you have a driveway or parking lot already sealed with a coal tar sealant, you can either have the product removed by “shot blasting” or sealing over the top with an asphalt based sealant. For more information on shot blasting, see Coal Tar Free America: What if Coal Tar is on my Driveway?

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.