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Lead Wheel Weight Law Fact Sheet

Why a Law?

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.
Requirements and Implementation

  • As of April 1, 2011 any person replacing or balancing a tire on a motor vehicle shall not use a wheel weight or other product for balancing motor vehicle wheels if the weight or other balancing product contains more than 0.1 percent lead by weight.
  • As of after April 1, 2011 no person shall sell, offer to sell or distribute weights or other products used for balancing tires that contain more than 0.1 percent of lead by weight.
  • After April 1, 2012 a person may not sell a new motor vehicle that is equipped with a weight or other wheel balancing product that contains more than 0.1 percent lead by weight.

Additional Information

  • Further information and a copy of the Lead Wheel Weight Law is posted on the DEC's website.
  • More information on the EPA Wheel Weight initiative can be found at: (www.epa.gov/wastes/hazard/wastemin/nlfwwi.htm)
  • A list of lead-free wheel weight distributors can be found at: - www.leadfreewheels.org/sources.shtml
  • A report - "Stocks and Flows of Lead Based Wheel Weights in the United States", prepared by USGS, 2006 can be found on the USGS website - pubs.er.usgs.gov/

Disclaimer - This vendor list is by no means complete or comprehensive. Vendors listed here are not endorsed by NYSDEC. Their environmental compliance has not been authenticated. You can find more listings by searching the web. Please contact the vendor to find out all pertinent information including costs.


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