Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbos (PAHs) occur naturally in coal and gasoline and are present in products such as asphalt sealants. Some PAHs are listed as possible or probable human carcinogens and also cause a wide variety of problems in aquatic environments. In urban areas like Rochester, a common surce of PAHs is from driveways and roads coated in coal-tar sealant. When PAHs degrade, they are transported from our driveways and roads into the envrionement by storm water runoff. What can you do? Unsealed driveways and parking lots are the most water friendly option. Read labels and avoid coal-tar sealannts as they release 65 times more PAH into the environment than uncoated parking lots. If you must seal-coat a surface, choose a product that is asphalt based. More information on PAHs:
- USGS fact sheet on PAH: Parking Lot Sealcoat: A Major Source of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Urban and Suburban Environments
- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: "Seal Coating Without a Nasty Chemical "
The final results are in! Over 70 tons of litter were collected by over 3,000 volunteers during the 6th annual litter collection event in Rochester. Click here to review the 2012 Summary Report and mark your calendar for next year's event April 20-27, 2013. Interested in becoming a sponsor or joining the Steering Committee? Contact Megan Duffey, Steering Committee Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.RNeighbors.org/litterbitbetter for event pictures.