Contractors Alerted to Village Ban on Coal Tar Sealants

Contractors Alerted to Village Ban on Coal Tar Sealants

Village officials announced recently that coal tar-based pavement sealants have been banned in Northbrook and can no longer be used on residential or commercial driveways or parking lots.

Sealants are used to protect driveways or parking lots from weathering and to maintain a dark, glossy appearance. There are two types of sealants — coal tar-based and asphalt-based. Both are equally effective, however the coal tar-based products are known to be harmful to the environment.

Coal tar is a byproduct of coal processing and also comes from power plants. It contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are known to be toxic to aquatic life and can also be harmful to humans in certain concentrations.
As an alternative, businesses and residents can seal their driveways with asphalt-based sealants, carried by most home improvement stores. According to some experts, asphalt-based sealants are better in terms of preserving air quality, smell better, prevent oxidization and do not cause skin irritation.

Contractors will need to verify that the products they use do not contain coal tar sealants. and will need to be licensed by the Village. The pavement sealing licenses are available from the Development and Planning Services Department and cost $60. Contractors will be required to sign an affidavit acknowledging that they will not use coal tar-based sealants and will be required to keep Safety Data Sheets to identify the materials used in their projects. Coal tar sealants were also recently banned in Glenview, Deerfield, Wilmette, Winnetka, and Highland Park. For more information call (847)272-5050.

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