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Originally published Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:02 AM

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Brake manufacturers gearing up to meet Wash. law

Manufacturers of brake pads are gearing up to meet a first-in-the-nation Washington state law requiring they phase out the use of copper and other heavy metals.

Associated Press

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SEATTLE —

Manufacturers of brake pads are gearing up to meet a first-in-the-nation Washington state law requiring they phase out the use of copper and other heavy metals.

Washington in 2010 banned the use of copper in brake pads, as a way to prevent the metal from polluting waters and harming fish. When brakes wear down, they release copper shavings onto roads and are eventually washed into rivers. State officials that could harm marine life.

The first phase of the law takes effect Jan. 1, when manufacturers of friction brakes will be required to report the concentrations of heavy metals such as copper, zinc or nickel in their products.

The allowable amount of copper could drop almost to zero in 2023 if manufacturers show it is possible.

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