Brake pads utilize copper because it helps dissipate heat, and keeping brakes cool is a very good thing. But every time a driver hits the brakes, tiny fragments of copper and other metals settle on the roads and surrounding areas. When it rains, that copper could end up in our waterways, polluting our water and potentially killing off wildlife.
When wheels are covered with brake dust, the entire car looks dirty and in many cases, a basic wash will do little to rectify the problem. Most associate brake dust as a mere nuisance, but others actually see the sight of pad particles as a fundamental problem with the functionality of a vehicle's brakes. That may sound a bit strange to some, but J.D. Power seems to agree that brake dust is indeed a quality problem.