Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | December 1, 2008

Environmental lawyer Sanders says lead weights will be phased out in California to balance tires on motor vehicles.

Almost everyone knows that lead is a neurotoxin that is extremely harmful to infants and young children, but did you know that lead is still used to balance tires in motor vehicles?  Well, that may change in the coming decade.  The news from California is that “lead is out and steel is in for balancing tires” as part of a large federal court settlement. 


Lead weights falling from tire rims are a huge source of this nasty neurotoxin in our environment.  Did you know that:


Wheel weights are currently clipped to the rims of every automobile wheel in the United States in order to balance tires?


Lead weights will be phased out in California by the end of 2009 under a court settlement between Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health against Chrysler and the three largest makers of lead wheel weights for the U.S. market: Plombco Inc. of Canada, Perfect Equipment Inc. and Hennessey Industries?

There are 200 million autos and light trucks on the nation’s roadways, with 16 million new autos produced annually in the United States?

An average of 4.5 ounces of lead is clipped to the wheel rims of every automobile in the United States?

Approximately 50 million pounds of lead is used annually to produce tire weights worldwide in autos and light trucks?

About 1.6 million pounds are lost in the United States when wheel weights fall off during normal driving conditions (e.g., hitting a pot hole)?

Half a million pounds of lead each year is released into the environment in California from wheel weights falling off vehicles?


Local service stations may have steel weights available, and consumers can request them in lieu of lead weights?


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