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News WA moves to ban copper in brake pads

  1. Apr 12, 2010 #1
    This is an interesting piece I am torn about. Copper from brake pads are known to run off into water ways. It is also known in lab experiments that the copper levels found in the water ways can affect salmon. Yet, there is no documentation for this happening in the wild. The state is going ahead and banning copper in brakes. Is this jumping the gun or an acceptable preventative measure?

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/90643739.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  3. Apr 12, 2010 #2

    CRGreathouse

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    Seems reasonable to me. Research on the matter should probably continue; if more data shows that there is no problem, the ban can be lifted.
     
  4. Apr 12, 2010 #3
    Like anything else, this is a system with too many variables to consider. Copper from the brakes could be the culprit, but one is still going blind without a proper investigation. If they are proved right then they were lucky, if proved wrong then unlucky.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2010 #4

    Ygggdrasil

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    As with all issues in public policy, we need to do a cost-benefit analysis. There is some evidence that the policy might provide a benefit to the environment. But, what about the costs of such a ban? From the article:
    This suggests that the costs associated with banning copper are very low and not likely to affect brake prices or availability. Given that the costs of such a policy are low, the ban seems reasonable. If the monetary costs associated with such a ban were high, you could make the case that the state should require stronger evidence before enacting the ban.
     
  6. Apr 12, 2010 #5
    Ygggdrasil, do you think any run off from the ~700 copper mines in WI could contribute to this problem rather than car brakes?
     
  7. Apr 13, 2010 #6
    Why would those to be mutually exclusive?
     
  8. Apr 13, 2010 #7

    Borek

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    Technically you are right, politically... once you ban copper (heavy metal! it is toxic! it kills our kids!) there is no way back.
     
  9. Apr 13, 2010 #8
    Copper is expensive as hell. The Chinese are buying it by the ton like it is penny candy. Banning copper in brake pads would free up copper for other uses, which would bring the price down a couple of cents. nothing noteworthy though.
     
  10. Apr 13, 2010 #9

    chemisttree

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    There is copper in asphalt roofing shingles too. Are they going to ban that as well? How about antifouling paints in ships/boats?

    Kill the humans!
     
  11. Apr 13, 2010 #10
    It's almost like copper comes from the ground.
     
  12. Apr 13, 2010 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://scvurppp-w2k.com/cu_control_measures/Brake Pads/Other Related Information/B_brkrpt.pdf
     
  13. Apr 13, 2010 #12

    Borek

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    Finally, a voice of reason.
     
  14. Apr 13, 2010 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    So if everyone is done venting, maybe this question could be addressed intelligently?
     
  15. Apr 13, 2010 #14

    Evo

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    Interesting, I never would have thought about brake pads being a serious water pollutant.
     
  16. Apr 13, 2010 #15

    mheslep

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    Couple other points that need an answer before we know such a ban would have a useful impact:

    What about background? Neither the scvurppp-w2k or komonews links show how brake pad copper pollution raises the Cu concentrations over background trace. Seawater already contains http://mistupid.com/chemistry/seawatercomp.htm" [Broken]. The studies did a lot work on showing how much brake pad Cu dust contributes to the overall man made Cu load, but if that's small compared to the natural background so what?

    What about the rest of the brake pad composite material, whatever it is? If that happens to be far more toxic than the Cu component, then spending effort to remove Cu is likely wasted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  17. Apr 13, 2010 #16

    CRGreathouse

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    I doubt they are.
     
  18. Apr 13, 2010 #17
    Activists have to feel accomplished about something. "We banned copper in brake pads! Yeah, go team!"


    I doubt it is a serious problem, as there are far more harmful things coming off of cars than a minute amount of dust from a brake pad.
     
  19. Apr 13, 2010 #18
    They are looking to fix those problems too... this is one of them and it happens to be a very easy fix. Why not go for it?
     
  20. Apr 13, 2010 #19
    That's what I'm thinking, too. The fact that the auto industry says it's no big deal is telling. They seem to cry about every little thing.
     
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