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Lead wheel weight ban nearing

October 14, 2011
As a reminder, an Illinois law effective Jan. 1 will forbid the use of wheel and tire balancing weights made of lead or mercury.
When Illinois enacted the law in July 2010, it joined six other states to use legislation to ban the wheel weights because of health and environmental concerns. The 18-month grace period was designed to allow dealers to sell or install their remaining inventories of the wheel weights. Other states have used voluntary bans.
While several wheel weight manufacturers have begun touting their alternatives to lead, the consensus in the industry is that steel is the superior alternative. Because of its high density, smaller size, cost advantage and environmentally friendly composition, steel significantly surpasses all other lead alternatives, including zinc.
Inventories of lead and mercury weights remaining after this year can be disposed of as fully regulated hazardous waste, or they can be recycled as scrap metal, which exempts them from hazardous waste regulation.