12 Household Toxins You Should Banish From Your Home
Healthy home alert! To save money, protect your health, and help the environment, give these toxic tenants an eviction notice.
By Leah Zerbe
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Coal Tar Driveway Sealant
If you plan to seal your blacktop driveway come spring, avoid coal tar–based sealants. They contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which studies suggest can be toxic, causing cancer or other genetic mutations in your body. When rainwater and other precipitation hit your driveway, the toxic chemicals run off into your yard and into your local drinking water supply. In fact, this situation has been compared to dumping quarts of motor oil right down a storm drain.
Better alternative:Gravel and other porous materials are best for driveways because they allow rainwater to sink into the ground, where it gets filtered and doesn’t inundate water treatment plants. But if you do seal blacktop, pick asphalt sealant and stay away from any product that has coal tar in its name (or products simply called “driveway sealant”). Lowe’s and Home Depot have already banned the bad stuff, but smaller hardware stores may still carry it.