Coal tar sealants contain high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are toxic to fish and other aquatic life. The Lakes and Watershed Commission's ordinance regulating coal tar sealant use and sale in Dane County was adopted by the County Board and went into effect in 2007. The ordinance bans use, sale or retail display of sealcoat products anywhere within Dane County that are labeled as containing coal tar. It also requires retailers to prominently display information about the ordinance (such as this PDF flyer) where customers make their driveway sealant purchases. There is an ordinance exemption for those who intend to apply sealcoat products on a surface that is not located within Dane County. Sellers must require purchasers seeking the exemption to complete this form (PDF).
Check the label and don’t buy products containing coal tar. Instead, opt for safer products such as asphalt sealcoats or latex modified asphalt sealer.