Hoosier Mom Calls on State Senators to Keep Schools Safe

Just last week Indiana State Senator David Niezgodski introduced 2018’s first state bill to ban coal tar pavement sealers (SB 168). The following is a letter of support that a mother sent to the Environmental Affairs Committee. The Committee will hear testimony about the bill on January 8, 2017.

Like many parents of young children I have a lot of things to consider when trying to make the best decisions for my children and their future. 

One thing I should not have to consider is whether or not they will be exposed to a known carcinogen every single day while they attend school. 

I have personally called and asked the local school systems in my area if they use coal tar sealants. The answer I have received every time is that each school system does use coal tar sealants on their parking lots routinely every few years. 

Without this ban how can I protect my children from being exposed to these known toxic chemicals? Not only is using coal tar sealants toxic to children, but it is also shown to be unnecessary. 

According to a recent study by Baylor University, “house dust in residences adjacent to coal-tar-sealed pavement might represent a primary and biologically relevant exposure to B2 PAHs, especially in young children. This is of particular interest because of the widespread use of coal-tar-based sealant on parking lots and residential driveways in the U.S.” 

There is significant evidence provided by peer-reviewed studies from independent sources, universities, and governmental agencies to illustrate that the use of coal tar sealants is detrimental to the environment and to human health. 

As a parent this information is very concerning to me and that is why I completely support this ban on coal tar products. If safer alternatives exist and they do, why are we still using toxic coal tar sealants at our children’s schools?

I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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