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3M Becomes Charter Member of the EPAs National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative

Kick-Off and Signing Event Highlighted at Detroits Grand Prix

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The shift from traditional lead wheel weights to more environmentally responsible lead-free wheel weights got a boost today when 3M Automotive took part in a signing ceremony for the United States Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative (NLFWWI) at the Detroit Grand Prix.

The EPA created the NLFWWI as an opportunity for entities engaged in the manufacture, distribution, sale or use of wheel weights to participate in a voluntary effort to accelerate the transition away from traditional lead wheel weights.

The Environmental Protection Agency is proud to announce this important Initiative and recognize the contribution of our partners, said Susan Parker Bodine, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "By taking part in the National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative, EPA's partners are helping protect public health and the environment by phasing out the sale and installation of lead wheel weights and educating the public about the benefits of alternatives."

3M, a leader in the production of lead-free wheel weights and the only manufacturer of a composite-based wheel weight system, has never produced lead weights. By signing the initiative, 3M intends to continue to produce, market and sell a lead-free alternative composite wheel weight system, endorse the NLFWWI and encourage the use of lead-free wheel weights by others.

Were honored to be a part of this EPA initiative and to help continue the promotion of lead-free wheel weights, said Tony Stokes, vice president and general manager, 3M Automotive. We feel our lead-free wheel weight system is truly groundbreaking, and our involvement with the NLFWWI underscores 3Ms commitment to developing innovative and high-quality products that are also more sustainable and practical.

3Ms award-winning wheel weights, made of a highly flexible and conformable material, can be cut to length to meet exact weight requirements and fit all wheel diameters. The material is flexible enough to cut with scissors, yet tough enough to withstand rigorous durability, weathering, salt spray and salt fog testing to exceed current OEM standards.

The 3M Wheel Weight System is designed to replace traditional systems that require large inventories of individual parts. The 3M system comes in a roll with a self-dispensing package that includes a dispensing stand and cutting device, making it efficient and allowing for weights to be easily dispensed, cut to the exact weight and applied, which reduces waste and frees up floor space.

Undercar Digest October 1, 2008

Bridgestone Firestone commits to National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative

Firestone Complete Auto Care™ and Firestone Racing have reiterated their commitment to improving the environment through eliminating the use of lead wheel weights. The two members of the Bridgestone Americas (BSA) family joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix last week to launch the agency’s new National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative,” says John Sheerin, environmental director for BFS Retail & Commercial Operations, LLC, which operates 2,000 automotive service store locations, including Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus™, ExpertTire™ and Wheel Works™. “All of us who support this initiative are doing our part to have a positive impact on the environment.”
 
In late 2007, BFRC became the first major automotive service provider to announce the move away from the use of lead wheel weights. All of BFRC’s approximately 2,000 automotive service store locations are switching to using more ecologically sensitive, non-toxic steel weights, replacing millions of lead wheel weights each year. In June 2008, Firestone Racing began using a non-lead product, the 3M™ Wheel Weight System, for all Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights events.
 
Wheel weights are applied onto the wheels of vehicles when tires are installed to help the wheels balance properly and run smoothly. The weights can fall off and may get thrown onto the edges of roadways, possibly contaminating soil or water if they are made of lead or another environmentally harmful material.
 
“The Environmental Protection Agency is proud to announce this important Initiative and recognize the contribution of our partners,” said Susan Parker Bodine, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “By taking part in the National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative, EPA’s partners are helping protect public health and the environment by phasing out the sale and installation of lead wheel weights and educating the public about the benefits of alternatives.”
 
For Bridgestone Americas, the company reports that the change to non-lead wheel weights is just one of many efforts to protect and conserve the environment under the global “One Team, One Planet” program from Bridgestone Corporation, BSA’s parent company.
 
“When it comes to being ecologically sensitive, we’re all in this together,” says Al Speyer, Executive Director of Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports. “By eliminating the use of lead wheel weights on the race track and on our neighborhood highways and byways, we’re taking a small action that will have a big effect.” 

Bridgestone Firestone Press Release, August 29, 2008



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