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State Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, and the Sierra Club are hosting a public discussion with expert panelists on the environmental and health impact of coal-tar based sealcoat on Thursday, Oct. 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wilmette Community Recreation Center, located at 3000 Glenview Rd. in Wilmette.  

“Years of research have shown that these coal-tar based substances are toxic to our environment and can cause serious health problems for humans and animals,” Fine said. “I hope this informational forum helps educate the community about the very real dangers of coal-tar and helps build support to ban it statewide.”   

Coal-tar based sealcoat is commonly used to protect and beautify asphalt pavement in driveways, parking lots, and playgrounds. Coal-tar contains  high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are known to be toxic, carcinogenic, and can cause birth defects.  

Panelists will include U.S. Geologic Survey Research Hydrologist Barbara Mahler, Illinois Conservation Foundation Director of Watershed Protection Stephen McCracken