In its 2017 regular session this month, the Maryland Legislature passed a bill prohibiting the use of wheel weights containing certain amounts of lead or mercury in vehicles. House Bill 66 bans external wheel weights composed of greater than 0.1 percent of lead or mercury by weight for all new or used vehicles registered in the state after certain dates. The bill ensures that no vehicle in the State fleet after 2019 is equipped with these wheel weights and that the weights are removed during tire replacements or balances and collected for proper recycling beginning in 2018. Maryland is one of a handful of states that have passed these restrictions.
The bill’s passage coincides with the revision of ECOS’ resolution Phasing Out the Sale and Installation of Lead Wheel Weights in which the organization urges EPA to initiate regulatory action to address lead hazards associated with lead wheel balancing weights and requests stakeholders and federal agencies to phase out the manufacture and use of lead wheel weights in the United States.