Five Things To Know About Brake Pad Copper Laws

Five Things To Know About Brake Pad Copper Laws

Like it or not, this could be our generation's asbestos. We are just at the start of what could be a painful, but necessary process that will impact your shop and the environment in a positive way.

1. Two states have passed laws, and more are looking: 
California was the first state to enact a law regulating copper and other substances in brake pads. Washington was not far behind with an even more detailed law. Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon and even countries are considering their own laws. 
2. The new laws targets the “installer”: 
Along with manufacturing and distribution, the California and Washington state regulations use the term “installer” (not the most flattering term) in the law’s language. This means a shop in these states could be fined $10,000 fine per violation if a non-approved brake pad is installed.
3. The laws target other harmful substances in brake pads: 
While copper has gotten most of the attention, these new laws target asbestos, chromium and other heavy metals in brake pads that harm nature and technicians. 
4. These laws are being phased in NOW:
While these laws will not be in full effect for more than 10 years, many components of the laws are being phased in as you read this. By January 1, 2013, friction material manufacturers who do business in Washington state are required to submit a report on their use of copper, nickel, zinc, antimony and other metals. By 2015, all new inventory must be labeled saying if it complies with the law. Manufacturers, distributors and “installers” have 10 years to sell off existing inventory. In California, the law also restricts the use of the cadmium, chromium, lead and its compounds on January 1, 2014.
5. It might impact your choices for brake pads: 
The laws do put new financial and technical burdens on friction material manufacturers. Under the Washington state law, friction material formulation has to be tested by an approved laboratory and the applications that use this material must be submitted so the right label can appear on the box. Every step in the process costs money and time. These burdens may be so great that some manufacturers could get out of these markets completely.
Like it or not, this could be our generation’s asbestos. We are just at the start of what could be a painful, but necessary process that will impact your shop and the environment in a positive way even if you do not live on the West Coast. It is my opinion that these new requirements will improve the pads you are installing on a vehicles. More to come. 

You May Also Like

It Ain’t Bragging If You Can Back It Up

It can be difficult to sit and read about yourself.

When Harrison Keyes learned that he was to be featured on the cover of this month’s ShopOwner magazine, he was not exactly thrilled.

Oh, he was pleased about the fact that he had been named the 2023 Technician of the Year by Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper, and that he and his fellow finalists from all over North and Latin America were going to be highlighed.

Putting Yourself First For Safety

Policies and procedures are only as good as those following them.

Why Is NHTSA Involved With RTR?

A closer look into NHTSA’s involvement with RTR.

Do OEM Service Bays Offer Opposition or opportunity?

With great power, of course, comes great responsibility.

How Effective Are Non-Competes?

NCAs restrict workers, hinder innovation, and impact employment options

Other Posts

Brake Pads – Customer Questions

Consumers have questions about brake pads. They ask us, so we figure we’ll share them so you can be prepared.

Brake Problems

Reducing brake drag on late-model vehicles is not accomplished by a single component; it takes a system.

Spotting Brake System Failures

The main culprit of friction material separation is typically corrosion.

Continental Expands ATE Electronic Parking Brake Caliper Line

Coverage for popular Audi, BMW, Mini, Volkswagen, Volvo models.