Washington to ban copper in brakes to protect salmon

Print Friendly

But Washington will continue to allow dumping of fluorosilicic acid into our rivers. To salmon fluoride stinks.

***

SEATTLE (AP) — Manufacturers of brake pads are gearing up to meet a first-in-the-nation Washington state law requiring they phase out the use of copper and other heavy metals.

Washington in 2010 banned the use of copper in brake pads, as a way to prevent the metal from polluting waters and harming fish. When brakes wear down, they release copper shavings onto roads and are eventually washed into rivers, where state officials say it could harm marine life, especially salmon.

“We’re hoping that people will be ready to certify their products soon,” said Ian Wesley, the law’s coordinator. He added: “I’m expecting that people will want to certify quickly.”

The first phase of the law takes effect Jan. 1, when manufacturers of friction brakes will be required to report the concentrations of heavy metals such as copper, zinc or nickel in their products.

Brake pads manufactured after 2015 may not contain asbestos, mercury, cadmium or other heavy metals. By 2021, brake pads must contain less than five percent copper. The allowable amount of copper could drop almost to zero in 2023 if manufacturers show it is possible.

California passed a similar law in September 2010. California’s law requires brake pad manufacturers to reduce copper in brake pads sold in that state to no more than 5 percent by 2021, and no more than 0.5 percent by 2025.

The laws in Washington and California will likely mean that copper-free pads will become the industry standard in the U.S.

“Once California passed their law, it became obvious that that will be the national standard,” said Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs with Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, which represents manufacturers of motor vehicle parts and systems for use in light- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Industry officials say it is possible some manufacturers will begin to market brake pads with lower amounts of copper ahead of those deadlines.

“You’ll see a number of manufacturers try to get the appropriate product out there as soon as they possibly can. Some may make it before the deadline,” Wilson said. “I think consumers are going to start seeing product out there in fairly short order.”

In Washington, brake manufacturers must use accredited laboratories and self-certify to the state that their brake pads comply with the law. All brake pads manufactured after January 1, 2015, must be marked on both the pad and its packaging.

Both states have agreed on a common marking system that will be used to identify compliant products, according to the state.

The Brake Manufacturers Council is developing a set of trademarks to show brakes and brake packaging are compliant with different phases of the laws, said Bill Hanvey, vice president of programs and member services with the Automotive Aftermarket Supply Association.

Many brake pads are made of steel, brass and copper fibers — materials designed to create friction and draw off heat. Some contain ceramics, Kevlar and other nonmetallic compounds. Some already contain zero or low amounts of copper.

Copper is a major source of water pollution. A Washington state study found that pesticides, brake pads and copper plumbing release the most copper into the Puget Sound basin.

Copper is particularly harmful to the sensory systems of salmon. Copper reduces the ability of young salmon to escape from predators and it hinders adult salmon from finding their spawning streams. These toxic effects limit the abundance of salmon returning to our fisheries and spawning grounds.

In 2011, the state also banned copper-based bottom paint on recreational boats, or those 65 feet and under. New recreational boats with copper-based bottom paint may not be sold in Washington state after Jan. 1, 2018, and the sale of paint with more than 0.5 percent copper is prohibited on boats as of 2020.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/science/article/Brake-manufacturers-gearing-up-to-meet-Wash-law-4101714.php

 

One thought on “Washington to ban copper in brakes to protect salmon

  1. Gayle

    If you go to the research completed by the U of British Columbia many years ago now you will find reference to the fact that fluoridation causes damage to the skeleton and causes cancerous tumours to grow in these fish. I presented this information to Everett in the 1990s in a packet of scientific data regarding the damaging impact of fluoride. One related issue was the campaign to stop the flow of lawn chemicals into the Sound. The lawn chemicals are replete with fluoride as well. On top of this look to the issue of fluoride based prescription antibiotics and other drug classes that are not removed by the current type of water treatment used in most cities. I would hope by now that Everett’s water department has stopped attacking people as they did to me in the 90s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven + nineteen =