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Banning Toxics From Brake Pads


A San Diego legislator has introduced a bill to replace copper in brake pads. Copper and other material in the pads pollutes waterways and can harm marine life. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

State Senator Christine Kehoe says her legislation would ban the use of copper, lead, mercury and asbestos in vehicle brake pads starting in 2023.

Kehoe: Well every time you push on your brakes a little bit of brake dust goes down on the pavement. And that means that every time it rains some of that stuff is going to our storm drains and down to the beach.

Kehoe says the bill has a good chance of becoming law.

Kehoe: The Brake Manufacturers Council as well as the Sierra Club and other organizations support it. So there's already been a lot of discussion to try to come to a consensus that will work at least in the case of copper and brake pads.

She says the legislation is part of a continuing effort to reduce the toxic substances in various products used in California, from lead wheel weights to children's pajamas.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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