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Seven Days: Vermont Car Blog

September 14, 2008

The EPA is working to eliminate lead wheel weights

Did you know that 50 million lbs of lead is used annually to balance tires on automobiles? Of that an approximate 1.6 million lbs falls off and enters the environment every year. Most of it gets washed into the watershed or is swept up and land filled.

Lead causes brain, kidney and nervous system damage. Children are the most sensitive and likely results to lead exposure are reduced cognitive development and decreased growth.

The EPA is working on a program to reduce the use of these lead weights by 2011. Steel is an alternative, though it's more difficult to work with and will likely be resisted by the tire industry.

The next time you get new tires or when you switch to your winter snows ask the technician to use an alternative to lead. It can’t hurt.


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