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Posted Mon Feb 1 2010: from Jacksonville Times-Union:
Jacksonville sealcoat raises home health concern
A material that's spread on parking lots and driveways in Jacksonville and nationally may be causing buildups of cancer-causing dust inside some homes, government researchers say. The finding by scientists who normally investigate water pollution raises questions about a potential health hazard, especially for children. The material, known as sealcoat, is a shiny, black substance made from coal tar, a byproduct of some industrial coal uses. As much as half of coal tar's weight can come from a family of chemical compounds called PAHs -- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons -- that increase cancer risks for people.... The new study concludes that people walking across those lots are accidentally bringing home small amounts of PAHs. "We track in whatever is outdoors," said Barbara Mahler, a hydrologist who was the lead researcher on a study published last month in Environmental Science & Technology, a professional journal. "When we bring in little bits of that sealcoat inside our homes on the bottoms of our shoes, it ends up in our house dust."
[Read more stories about: contamination, toxic buildup]
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