Oh Canada Passes Coal Tar Sealant Ban!

Well sort of. Actually the City of Little Canada’s City Council passed a coal tar sealant ban in late July. Little Canada (population about 10,000) becomes the 11th community in Minnesota to pass a ban.  The ban is effective immediately and violators can face fines up to $1,000 and/or a maximum jail sentence up to 90 days in addition to court costs.  Thank you Little Canada!  Now the number of US citizens under a coal tar sealant ban exceeds 10 million.

In a somewhat related item, Environment Canada (the nation of course) and the University of Toronto have completed an analysis of coal tar sealant use in Ontario.  Findings include:

  • coal tar sealants (CTS) are available for commerical and retail users
  • CTS coverage in the greater Toronto area is nearly 6 square miles (14 km2)!
  • sealant scraping concentrations were somewhat lower than published data from Mahler et al. at the USGS (perhaps due to both mislabeling in Canada and non-coal tar lot contamination in the USGS sampling)
  • large loss of PAH’s due to volatization during drying/curing (see graph below)
  • the average annual, estimated PAH load to surface water and soil is more than 7,000 pounds per year in Toronto
  •  a presentation of these finds can be found at this link: http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/bns/integration/Jun2011/Li_6152011.pdf

Perhaps this will lead to legislative efforts in Canada!

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