I never met Sam, we only corresponded via phone and email, but let me tell you why we need more folks just like him.
He and I worked on what might have been the first ban of coal tar pavement sealants in the State of Florida. Sam got involved when he learned that they were going to put coal tar sealants down on his owners’ association roads and wondered if there might be a problem with doing that. He lived in gated community of Boca Raton called Broken Sound.
Sam did some homework and found me. I told him what I know, he asked great questions and he strategized about how to stop this application of “poison” to use his words. He wasn’t able to stop the application, but that didn’t stop him. Through his efforts the association hired a consulting engineer, who gave an unfavorable opinion of coal tar pavement sealcoat.
Sam talked to his neighbors. He learned that one neighbor’s dog got sick right after the sealant application. I am told the vet attributed the sores and loss of hair to the coal tar sealants being applied throughout the neighborhood. Sam said that most people walk their dogs in the street, right where the coal tar sealants curing is most potent.
Sam convinced the board of the association to take up the matter, to vote on ceasing the use of this product. Unfortunately the board voted against passing a ban of this toxic substance.
Did Sam quit? No, he then noticed that little black flecks of sealant were being tracked into his house. I told him about the USGS dust study and how he could at least get some values that we could compare to those that the study had obtained. He wanted to take that information to the local government authorities and get them to pass a ban.
I didn’t hear back from Sam for a while so I called his home. His wife Bev confirmed my fears that Sam’s illness, that he never mentioned to me, got worse and he died. Samuel Marcus Sisisky, military veteran, home builder, father, husband, and I would add environmental activist, died at the age of 81.
Lord, could we have a few more folks like Sam Sisisky, please?