April 4, 2024

EPA Seeks Information on Lead Exposures Related to Use of Wheel Weights

EPA has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that requests information on lead exposures associated with the use of wheel weights, which are used to correct the weight distribution in motor vehicle wheels. According to the agency’s press release, this information will help EPA determine whether the use of lead wheel weights presents an unreasonable risk to human health and the environment and may be used in a future rulemaking. The agency specifies that it is seeking scientific studies on how lead wheel weights are used, ways that people may be exposed to lead, and alternatives to lead wheel weights. If EPA finds unreasonable risk, it will initiate a proposed rulemaking under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Many wheel weights are composed primarily of lead, although alternatives made of steel, zinc, alloy, and plastic-metal composite are also available, EPA explains. Workers and others may be exposed to lead during the manufacturing, processing, distribution, use, or disposal of wheel weights, as well as when dust from these items is tracked into homes and other indoor areas. EPA cautions that lead exposure can have “devastating impacts to human health,” especially to children.

The ANPRM was published in the Federal Register on April 3. Members of the public may submit written comments until May 3. More information about the ANPRM and EPA’s other lead-related regulatory activities may be found on the agency’s website.