EPA launches anti-lead weight initiative with the help of Bridgestone, 3M
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched its new National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative, which intends to phase out the sale and installation of lead weights.
Earlier today, Aug. 29, the EPA held a joint press conference with Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. units Firestone Complete Auto Care and Firestone Racing in Detroit, Mich., to "reiterate their commitment to improving the environment through eliminating the use of lead wheel weights," say Bridgestone officials.
In late 2007, Bridgestone Americas Holding -- through its BFS Retail & Commercial Operations LLC division -- became the first major automotive service provider to announce the move away from the use of lead wheel weights.
"All of (our) approximately 2,000 automotive service store locations are switching to using more ecologically sensitive, non-toxic steel weights, replacing millions of lead wheel weights each year."
In June 2008, Firestone Racing began using a non-lead product for all Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights events.
3M Automotive also took part in the signing ceremony. 3M's award-winning composite wheel weights are made of a highly flexible and conformable material, which can be cut to length to meet exact weight requirements and fit all wheel diameters.
The material is flexible enough to cut with scissors, yet tough enough to withstand rigorous durability, weathering, salt spray and salt fog testing to exceed current OEM standards, says the company.