The Township recently passed a resolution recommending that the use of coal tar sealants be avoided in Hampton due their negative impact on health and the environment. Coal tar sealants are a commercial product that are primarily used to cover parking lots and driveways. Coal tar sealant is not typically used on public roads and the Township does not use coal tar sealant for any Township owned properties.
Coal tar sealants are a hazard because they contain high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are released into the environment when applied and as they break down. PAHs are a known carcinogen, meaning that exposure has the potential to cause cancer.
Alternative sealants are available. The most common and least expensive alternative to coal tar sealcoat is a petroleum asphalt-based sealcoat. Asphalt-based sealants also contain PAHs, but at far lower levels than coal tar sealcoats—about 1/1000th the PAH level of coal tar sealants.
As a homeowner, you are encouraged to discuss the use of alternative sealants with any company that you may contract with to seal your driveway.
For more information related to the hazards of coal tar sealants, please click here.