August 29, 2008 at 8:08 pm #3452
Tire weights getting the lead out
SHARON SILKE CARTY USA TODAY
Friday 8/29/08, DETROIT – The little lead weights clipped on the outer rim of your vehicle’s wheels may be the biggest source of lead put into the environment each year, and they may soon be on their way out.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday will recognize a group of tire retailers (including Wal-Mart and Costco), government-related entities (including the Postal Service and U.S. Air Force) and auto manufacturers that has agreed to phase out lead wheel weights by 2011.
The little gray weights about the size of a pinky finger are used to balance the wheels so they don’t vibrate when they rotate and so tires don’t wear improperly.
They can fall off wheels, however, and get crunched into dust – floating into the air and washing into the groundwater. Lead is a neurotoxin, meaning it attacks the nervous system. It can cause brain damage and is most harmful to children under six.
Lead weights already are banned in the European Union and in some Asian countries, where larger steel or zinc alloy weights are used.
Lead weights haven’t been identified as the cause of any specific case of pollution poisoning by the EPA, but the element is dangerous enough that getting it off the roads is important, said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for the agency’s office of solid waste and emergency response.
“We know a lot about exposure to lead, and we know what the exposure pathways are,” Bodine said. “The fact that we have these huge percentages of the whole distribution chain signing up (to phase out lead wheel weights) is a tremendous gain, and 2011 is not that far off.”
The EPA estimates that 13 percent of the wheel weights fall off annually, crunching under the weight of other vehicles and washing into sewers or entering landfills after streets are cleaned. The average 2.5-ounce weights could add up to 2,000 tons of lead into the environment a year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The voluntary program is an acknowledgement by many of the companies that this is an issue they can no longer avoid, said Jeff Gearhart, campaign director of The Ecology Center, an environmental policy group.
“There was a lot of foot dragging by some of the companies,” Gearhart said. “This year, it’s become more and more clear that the writing is on the wall. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”
August 29, 2008 at 8:15 pm #6620
Gottcha – the EPA & these stupid environmental parties cant have this both ways! They – not foot dragging companies have dismissed solid ounces of lead weights as caustive agent for years when they were mentioned as partial causative agent vs. gasoline lead in only ppm levels.
Also as always in Reporting & Environmental junk science reporting – lead weights don’t get “crushed into bits” that is assine – lead is malleable solid metal it just gets squashed. What does happen is that although lead is impervious to Inorganic Acids like Sulfuric or Hydrochloric (which is why it is used in batteries) but is totally open to attach by natural Organic acids such as acetic acid found in soils or from some types of acid rains.
If these idiots had done their research – we would still have the 10ppm lead gasoline & be thousands of gallons production ahead of system. Refineries need use this and go for adding it back (very little reason completely dropping it out / once it fell below 20ppm levels)
Now that they have destroyed lead paint industry & gasoline lead additives – it is safe bring out tire lead weights and go after them. Both EPA & Environmentalist screwed up so badly on lead paint removal – they had go after gasoline lead as cover. No one supervised the disposal of removed house lead paint, no one reported that reduction microscopic particles created after blasting made the house environment 20X worse than ever or outside paint were left mixed with soil that kids, plant food chain & animals ingested (most time the lower income type houses were oddly enough near expressways & so they blamed gasoline lead).
And NOW they admit tire lead (by way been depositing along roads & highways for over 30 years now – COULD have been cause.
Hang every one of them & liberal press/authors like this that pushes their stupid views.
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