TIA supports decision to deny the banning of lead weights

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The Tire Industry Association (TIA) applauds a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny the Ecology Center's petition for a ban on lead wheel weights.

The EPA cited "insufficient data" as the reason it will not move ahead on a lead wheel weight ban at this time.

"EPA reinforced what TIA has said all along -- there is no data proving a significant risk," says Becky MacDicken, TIA's director of government affairs. "This is not to say that in the future the EPA won't produce other data and proceed at that time with a rulemaking to ban the use of lead wheel weights, but it is a victory."

TIA has been in meetings with the EPA for the last two years on this issue. TIA has stated that without sound science the EPA could not support a ban on lead.

The EPA remains concerned about lead in the environment because close to 21 million pounds of used lead goes unaccounted for each year according to its research. TIA says the EPA is worried the lead is ending up in our nation's water, land and roadsides as the result of improper recycling, the reusing of used weights and use by hobbyists.

"The market seems to be moving away from lead on its own without the need for a ban," says Dick Gust, TIA president. "TIA will continue to work with the EPA on this issue to gather facts and find other alternatives."

TIA is beginning an education campaign with the tire industry about proper recycling methods. TIA encourages recycling used weights with battery recyclers, the wheel weight manufacturers or second party smelters.

Good hygiene also is important when handling lead. TIA encourages tire techs to wash their hands if they have come into contact with lead before eating, drinking or touching their faces.

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