Bill To Reduce Arsenic In Roadway Paints Clears Committee

Photo credit: Doug Kerr

TRENTON – Legislation to prohibit the use of reflective glass beads with high arsenic content in state roadway projects was released Monday from the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.

“There is no place for a known carcinogen like arsenic on New Jersey’s roadways,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the transportation panel.  “Our zeal to protect motorists should not come at the expense of road crews and the environment.”


Inorganic arsenic is a hazardous substance, utilized in glass and ceramics manufacturing, and is recognized by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration as a human carcinogen.

Under the bill, reflective glass beads – commonly used in roadway paints and road surfaces – that contain more than 75 parts per million inorganic arsenic would be prohibited from being manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or offered for promotional purposes in New Jersey.

It would further prohibit the state Department of Transportation, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and the South Jersey Transportation Authority from utilizing roadway marker paint that has been mixed with reflective glass beads containing large amounts of inorganic arsenic.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 11-0-1.  It now heads to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.

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