Environmentally-friendly California is putting an end to lead balancing weights on wheels and tires. The heavy metal neurotoxin is polluting the state's ground water supplies, according to the Center for Environmental Health. The group claims that more than 500,000 pounds of lead weights are inadvertently flung off wheels each year, making it the state's leading cause of environmental lead contamination. Under a court settlement approved this week, Chrysler and the three largest lead weight wheel manufacturers will all phase out lead in wheel weights by the end of 2009. While California is taking the initiative in this country, we are still years behind the European Union, which banned lead weights in 2005. With lead on the chopping block, future wheel weights will be made from either steel or zinc alloy. Those metal weights are larger and more expensive to produce than lead, but much safer for Mother Earth.

[Source: Business Week]