GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio — For months, Grandview Heights resident Brian Will, an organizer of community action group Sustainable Grandview, has found himself gathering sealed surface samples around town. 

“When you pour coal tar sealant on a driveway like this, and you have heavy rains or a car drives on it, and it creates dust and the dust volatilizes. It's drawn into people's homes,” says Will. 

Not only that, but Will said US Geological survey data indicates concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAH is linked to cancer in humans.

And when coal tar sealants drain into the street and end up in the river, it kills fish. 

Will said you can test for harmful chemicals at home just by using paint thinner. 

“Sample is dissolving, and starting to turn a dark color, which is indicative of asphalt, which is much safer than coal tar,” says Will. 

Sustainable Grandview has presented its concerns to the city council, and Will is hopeful the city can set an example for nearby communities. State Lawmakers in New York are trying to ban coal tar-based sealants and retailers Lowe's, Hope Depot, Ace, among others, have banned coal tar from their shelves.

“Many cities, as they become aware of the dangers of this product, will ban it because of the harmful effect on children in particular. We hope the mayor responds to it. We feel this stuff is so toxic it should be banned. If we did ban the product we'd be one of the first in Ohio to ban the product,” says Will. 

To read Sustainable Grandview’s presentation to Grandview Heights City Council, click here.

For more on Sustainable Grandview, click here