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You're standing on it! Coal-tar-based pavement sealcoat and environmental and human health

February 1, 2013

Coal-tar-based sealcoat—a product marketed to protect and beautify asphalt pavement—is a potent source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to air, soils, streams and lakes, and homes. Does its use present a risk to human health?

Results from a new study by researchers from Baylor University and the USGS indicate that living adjacent to a coal-tar-sealed pavement is associated with significant increases in estimated excess lifetime cancer risk, and that much of the increased risk occurs during early childhood.

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