See Why Lead Wheel Weights Need to Go
Lead has been gradually eliminated from the products we use every day because of the dangers it poses to the environment and to children. Despite the dangers, one place it is still freely used is on our wheels. Lead wheel weights are used to balance your tires and wheels by placing them on the rims. This keeps our rides smooth, but we need to make the move to alternative materials that are less harmful. According to BestRide, those little lead weights release a dangerous amount of lead into the environment, especially when they fall off your wheel and land in the grass or water. AutoMD.com and the Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association (AMRA) are both calling for a move to materials like zinc coated steel which is much safer. RELATED: Will Tires One Day Help Charge Electric Cars?
Lead is toxic even in very small amounts. Children are particularly susceptible to its affects which can be toxic at only 10 μg/dL and can cause damage at levels half that high. The use of lead in paint was banned back in 1978 and lead use in gasoline started phasing out in 1976. Somehow, lead wheel weights have been overlooked.
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The EPA estimates 50 million pounds of lead is used to produce wheel weights each year. You can help reduce that number. Next time you get new tires, ask for a steel or non-lead weight and get the lead out.
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