Washington state moves to ban copper in brake pads - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington state moves to ban copper in brake pads

SEATTLE (AP) - When a driver hits the brakes, friction releases copper shavings that fall onto the road and are eventually washed into rivers. Environmentalists say the metal could pose a hazard to marine life, especially salmon, one of the Pacific Northwest's most prized products.

Washington state responded to the problem last month by becoming the first in the nation to pass a law to phase out the use of copper in brake pads. The move could eventually make copper free pads the industry standard in the U.S.

The new law bans brake pads containing more than 5 percent copper starting in 2021. The allowable amount could drop almost to zero in 2023 if manufacturers show it is possible.

State ecology officials in Washington estimate 70,000 to 318,000 pounds of copper are released into Puget Sound each year, with about one-third coming from vehicles.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

 

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