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Alternatives to Lead

Getting the Lead Out

Many automobile retailers and distributors now carry alternatives to lead weights, including those made of zinc, plastic, or steel; lead-free tape weights; or those made of a zinc alloy called ZAMA (composed of zinc, aluminum, and copper).

It is important to note that some lead alternatives may be more environmentally preferable than others. Scientists have significant concerns about elevated zinc and copper exposure because of their toxic effects on aquatic plants and animals, including adverse effects on growth and survival (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Contaminant Hazard Review Reports No. 26 and 33, respectively).

If the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) identifies an alternative material as containing a “chemical of concern” as part of the Assembly Bill 1879 (2008) evaluation process, DTSC’s regulations may restrict the use of that chemical (Health & Saf Code, §25253[b]). Such determinations and restrictions will be clearly posted on this Web page.