Railroad Creosote Ban

Environmental Advocates Support this Bill


Creosote, which contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are known to have negative human health consequences, has been widely used as a pesticide and wood preservative. Because of the detrimental health impacts of creosote, New York has phased out the use, sale, and manufacturing of products containing creosote.

However, some purposes were exempted from the creosote prohibition. This legislation would remove the exemption for railroads and railroad shipping facilities from participating in the creosote prohibition.

Creosote contains over 300 different chemicals, and people can be exposed to these chemicals through air, soil and water. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, once in the environment, both plants and animals have been shown to absorb parts of the creosote mixture. Exposure can lead to rashes and skin irritations, burning eyes, convulsions and mental confusion, irritation of the respiratory tract, kidney or liver damage, and even cancer in cases of long-term exposure.

This bill is a needed to eliminate public and worker exposure to the dangerous chemicals in creosote.


This bill amends the environmental conservation law to require railroads and railroad shipping facilities to participate in the phase-out of the use, combustion, and disposal of creosote.

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