Updated in January 2012, this report released by The Ecology Center contains information on lead wheel weight use and fate in the environment, and provides model legislation to implement phase-outs.

State Map

Alternative assessment report on lead wheel weights

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control decided to employ life cycle assessment tools to evaluate the imapcts of alternatives to lead wheel weights currently being used in California. The comparative assessment described in this report evaluates certain impacts associated with lead, steel, and zinc alloy wheel weights to identify regrettable substitutions or burden shifting as a result of the lead wheel weight ban. 

Lead Wheel Weight Law Fact Sheet Released by Department of Environmental Conservation 

Lead is one of the EPA's 31 Priority Chemicals targeted for reduction. Lead wheel weights are clipped to tire rims to balance tires on automobiles/trucks/ATV's. The weight, price, and malleability have made lead the long-time preferred choice for this purpose. However, wheel weights sometimes fall from wheels under rough driving. These "lost" wheel weights are eventually abraded into lead dust which can contaminate surrounding soils and adjacent waterways. There is also an environmental concern when cars are sent to metal scrap processing facilities. Alternatives to lead wheel weights are available and using an alternative not only protects the environment, but also protects employees from lead exposure. Use of non-lead wheel weights can provide repair shops and tire installations an opportunity to promote themselves as using greener alternatives to lead.

UC Irvine Working to Remove Lead Wheel Weights from Fleet

IRVINE, CA : The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) announced plans to replace lead wheel weights from the tires in its fleet. The university is following in the footsteps of fellow California government fleet, Contra Costa County, recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to voluntarily remove more than 2,000 lbs. of lead from its fleet by 2012.


Legislative Roundup

Maine Bans Lead Weights

On May 12 Maine became the second state to enact a comprehensive ban on lead weights. LD 986 bans installation of lead (and mercury) weights January 1, 2010.

Washington State Bans Lead Wheel Weights

On April 28th Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law the first comprehensive ban on the use of lead wheel weights in North America. The legislation, HB 1030, requires the use of lead free wheel weights starting on January 1, 2011. Download the bill. Read about the law in the Spokesman-Review.


Other Pending Legislation

California - Senate Bill 763 Download 
Requirements: Bans installation of lead weights upon passage

Iowa - House File 384 Download
Requirements: Prohibits installation of lead weights July 2010

Maine - LD 986 Download 
Requirements: Bans installation of lead (and mercury) weights January 1, 2010

Maryland - House Bill 763 Download
Requirements: Bans installation of lead weights January 2011 State for Fleet Vehicles; January 1, 2012 for Used Vehicles; January 1, 2013 for New Vehicles

Vermont - Act 193 Enacted into Law June 7, 2008 Download 
Requirments: Bans installation of lead weights on Vermont state fleet vehicles January 1, 2010; September 1, 2011 for new vehicles

Published on March 20, 2017

There are no published samples in this report.

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