Five years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a New York City police detective died of respiratory failure caused by exposure to toxic chemical fumes at Ground Zero. Tragically, an unknown number of others who lived near or responded to the emergencies at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, have also died from toxic exposure.
A recent study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that coal tar-based asphalt sealants commonly used to update residential driveways and commercial parking lots contains an ingredient that may cause cancer, especially in children. According to the study, the black sealcoat is essentially a chemical compound called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, or PAH, in concentrated form. PAH is known to cause cancer.