State Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, testified this week about his bill to prohibit the sale and use of coal tar-based sealants, as well as other similar products that contain high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).

In his weekly email to constituents, Kitchens wrote:

This legislative proposal is important to me because coal tar-based pavement sealants are a primary source of toxic PAH pollution in Wisconsin. Research has shown that PAHs are especially harmful to human health.

The American Medical Association, which supports a ban on these products, says that people exposed to coal tar sealants on a regular basis have a 38 times higher chance of developing cancer.

I believe my bill is both feasible and needed because there are several safer, cost-competitive alternatives to PAH tar-based sealants that are currently available.

A variety of municipalities and communities in Wisconsin – including Sturgeon Bay, Green Bay, De Pere, Manitowoc and Kewaunee County – already have a ban in place and several others are currently considering similar restrictions. My bill would ensure that everyone is on a level playing field.

If you would like to read my testimony in full, please click on this link. I have also recorded a brief video that explains why I feel so strongly that this ban is necessary.

 Furthermore, Coal Tar Free America has put together a document that refutes the unfounded claims that opponents of the legislation are putting forward.