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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 12:00 PM
Original message
E.P.A. to Ban Lead Tire Weights
E.P.A. to Ban Lead Tire Weights
By Jim Motavalli

Its no secret that cars pollute the environment, but not all of that pollution comes out of the tailpipe. The Environmental Protection Agency says 2,000 tons of lead tire weights used in wheel balancing are lost from vehicles and ultimately end up in the environment each year. Exposure to lead, the E.P.A. said, has a variety of health effects, including brain and nervous system disorders, high blood pressure, reproductive problems and hypertension.

Recently, the E.P.A. reversed previous decisions and agreed to follow Europes lead and ban the manufacture and distribution of lead tire weights.

Its been a long haul. The E.P.A.s action was in response to a 2009 petition from the Michigan-based Ecology Center, the Sierra Club and other groups. Four years ago, the federal agency, then led by Stephen Johnson, a George W. Bush appointee, rejected a similar request.

Over the last few years, weve gained more information on the effect of lead tire weights in the environment, said Steve Owens, an assistant E.P.A. administrator. Also, a number of states have moved to ban these weights, so theres clearly rising concern. State bans on lead tire weights have been passed in Washington State, Vermont and Maine, and others were pending, the Ecology Center said, but a national ban would make those efforts moot.

We requested that the weights be phased by 2011, and we think that is feasible, Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and a longtime campaigner against lead weights. He called lead tire weights the largest ongoing unregulated release of lead into the environment, and said a rule-making process could take six to 12 months.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/epa-to-ban-l...
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oligarhy Donating Member (178 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Very cool
...
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-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. Fine by me...
means more lead available for ammunition manufacturers and for people that cast their own bullets.
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Mugu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I've cast literally tons of wheel weights into bullets over the years. n/t
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-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I've known several people that do the same thing.
Thought about doing it myself but never got around to it.

Anyhow... from what I understand a lot tire shops/garages pulling the weights wizened up and realized they could sell the lead to scrape dealers.
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Mugu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I haven't cast any bullets in many years.
Edited on Wed Sep-09-09 12:31 PM by Mugu
It's a lot of work and is very stinky. Back then the used weights were free, but I'd guess that you're correct about the price. If there's a demand the price will climb accordingly.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'd be curious to see any data that indicates that lead wheel weights damage the environment.
Quite literally, lead is not a problem unless you eat it.

This is a meaningless bit of publicity.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I am wondering about using lead weights in fishing as well
And whether it has any sort of impact.

As far as not eating lead - what about contaminating drinking water, et al?

Guess I will be spending some googling time on it tonight.
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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. If a fish swallows it it weighs more.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Well, you certainly didn't go to public school
Cause I did and did not know that :rofl:
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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Actually, it can kill the fish. Then, after a few days, it would weigh
less. :evilgrin:
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Even with lead in plumbing, simply flushing water through the pipes reduces the lead...
... to acceptable levels.

It is very difficult to get lead concentrations in water to a level that is toxic.
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Xicano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Didn't Rome have a problem with lead being used that way?
I seem to recall a history class or two back when I was in school citing that. My memory may be serving me wrong, but, I do seem to recall something like that.

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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-10-09 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. I believe they attributed it to pewter (leaded) drinking vessels.
Wine is acidic enough to solubilize the lead.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Yeah...
I have a hunch they lay by the side of the road harmlessly unless someone picks it up and eats it or melts it and injects it into their bloodstream.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-10-09 05:46 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. The idea that these weights are ground into a fine powder that eventually
... turns into an aerosol or airborne dust is harder to believe.
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Lagomorph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
12. Well, they're gonna need something...nt
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Already in process, for quite a while
Most places will wind up charging more because lead weights are so so cheap. And most places will use their up too.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Automotive/... /

Balancing your vehicle's wheels is important for a smoother ride, better gas mileage and more even tire wear. This has traditionally been achieved using lead wheel weights. Now, 3M offers a lead-free, corrosion-free, reliable and convenient alternative to lead.

3M Wheel Weights are made of a flexible and conformable material that is attached to the wheel using industry-leading 3M Automotive Attachment Tape. The results are an all-in-one, cut-to-fit precision wheel balancing system that has less impact on the environment than lead.

The tape is time consuming, does often NOT stick in spite of your best efforts to clean the wheel, and many mechanics are lazy and just put them in the wrong spot.
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Lagomorph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-10-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Thanks
I hope they can make it work better. I've always preferred products that work.
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