Lead wheel weighings are harmful to the environment because lead is a toxic heavy metal that can infiltrate the soil and water. When the weight of the lead wheels fall from cars, they can be on the roads, parking lots and other areas where they can be crushed by vehicles that pass or carried into the rain sewers. This can lead to the release of lead in the environment, which can contaminate the soil, water and fauna.
In addition, lead is harmful to human health, especially for children and pregnant women. Field exposure can cause a series of health problems, including development delays, behavioral problems and neurological damage. Lead is also a persistent toxin, which means that it can stay in the environment for a long time, continuing to pose a risk for human health and the environment.
Recognizing these risks, Canada has restricted the importation and manufacturing of lead wheel weight from the February 3, 2024.
Fortunately, there are safe alternative solutions and all as effective as lead for wheels balancing:
- Steel weight
- Zinc weight
- Adhesive weight (commonly called "glued")
There are also a good number of elements favorable to this change:
- The health and safety of people using wheel weights will be greatly improved.
- The environment will be protected more effectively.
- Workshops using lead substitutes will have more points during their environmental certification assessments.
- Zinc or steel weights are less likely to fall from the wheel than those in lead.
- Less price fluctuation on raw materials markets.
For all of these reasons, Cantin Distribution does not recommend workshops to increase their lead weight stocks, but rather to follow government and environmental recommendations for a transition to steel or zinc security products.