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EPA seeking input on lead exposure from lead wheel weights

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking the public for information on the potential ways in which people might be exposed to lead through the use of wheel weights. Lead exposure can have devastating impacts to human health and can be especially harmful to developing children.

The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) requests information that could be used in a future rulemaking to consider potential human health concerns, including those for children, associated with lead wheel weights. This information will help EPA determine if the use of lead wheel weights poses unreasonable risk to human health and the environment.

If unreasonable risk is found, EPA will initiate a proposed rulemaking under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address the unreasonable risk. This action also furthers EPA’s commitment to protect all people from lead with an emphasis on high-risk communities as outlined in the EPA Strategy to Reduce Lead Exposures and Disparities in US Communities.

Wheel weights are used to correct imbalances in the weight distribution of motor vehicle wheels. Lead is the primary component of many wheel weights, though alternatives such as steel, zinc alloy and plastic-metal composite are now widely available. Workers and other people, including children, may be exposed to lead released through the manufacturing, processing, distribution, use or disposal of these wheel weights. Additionally, people may be exposed when lead dust from these products is tracked into homes and other indoor places. Lead exposure can cause irreversible and life-long health effects.

In May 2009, the Ecology Center, Sierra Club and others raised concerns about lead exposure to children from lead wheel weights in a TSCA section 21 petition, which EPA granted, requesting that EPA “establish regulations prohibiting the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce” of lead wheel weights. In August 2023, these petitioners sought a writ of mandamus the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to direct EPA to conclude a rulemaking regulating lead wheel weights.

The Agency developed this ANPRM in response to concerns raised by the petitioners. EPA is asking interested parties to submit scientific studies about how lead wheel weights are used, the possible ways in which people could be exposed to lead, and information about alternatives to lead wheel weights, among other topics.

EPA will accept written comments on the ANPRM for 30 days following publication via docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2024-0085 at


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