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Shedding lead weights

Written by maryp posted on Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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In 2005 the European Union phased out the use of lead wheel weights. Japan and Korea, soon followed, and now California is banning their use after July 2009. The three largest U.S. manufacturers agreed in response to an environmental group’s lawsuit. The suit was filed under Prop 65 which requires manufacturers of lead products to notify the public. You know, this has to do with those signs at the gas stations, dealerships, and even in the crystal and china department of your local upscale department store. (We have Prop 65 signs posted in our lobby, on repair orders, etc..)

So, the idea is to control the amount of lead getting into the drinking water in the State. If my memory is correct, I think they already hit the fisherman by banning lead weights. Those were being lost directly in lakes and rivers. The wheel weights end up on the freeways, crushed and the subsequent run-off has become a big problem. Actually, the numbers are pretty staggering. 500,000 pounds of lead a year getting into our water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Center for Environmental Health in Oakland was the group that initiated the lawsuit and subsequent ban.

Please, don’t get upset when you find out the cost has risen 30% for those little pieces of what will now be a zinc alloy or steel. As far as safety when using products that contain lead, always remember to wash your hands. Especially, after touching a product such as a battery. Yes, even your cell phone battery, your watch battery, your remote battery, or your BMW battery. Now, I have no idea how that works when we are using that beautiful leaded crystal stemware at the holidays!Note: This is only a blog, and is in no way, a full “lead” warning as outlined by Prop 65.

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