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Home > Feature Articles > Logistics and Vehicle Fleet Management > Autos & Small Consumer Vehicles

Solution for Lead from Tires that Contaminate the Environment

Lead enters the environment when wheel weights fall off during normal driving conditions. Solution: use non-lead balancing weights.

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The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) is replacing lead wheel weights from the tires in its fleet.

The university is following in the footsteps of the government fleet for Contra Costa County, recognized by the EPA for its efforts to voluntarily remove more than 2,000 lbs. of lead from its fleet by 2012.

Wheel balancing solution: coated steel weights

Within one year, the Contra Costa County vehicle maintenance facility in Martinez performs nearly 1,800 tire balancing services. By replacing lead weights with coated steel weights, the County will effectively reduce the amount of lead by 2,000 lbs. by 2012. This project serves as a model for other county or municipal fleets.

UC Irvine has been anticipating switching over to non-lead wheel balancing materials for some time.

Other schools in the University of California system, such as University of California, Davis, will also join in the UC's green efforts.

An estimated 1.6 million lbs. of lead are lost annually in the United States when wheel weights fall off during normal driving conditions (e.g., hitting a pot hole).

The National Partnership for Environmental Priorities encourages public and private organizations to form partnerships with the EPA to reduce the use or release of toxic substances into the environment.

More information on the EPA's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Program is available at epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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