Bendix applauds copper brake material legislation

Updated Dec 15, 2010

In a statement released Tuesday, Dec. 14, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake commended recent state laws passed in California and Washington reducing the amount of copper allowed in brake friction materials beginning in 2021.

In March 2010, Washington became the first state to pass legislation in an effort to protect its waterways from the runoff of toxic copper brake dust. California’s bill became law in September 2010. Similar legislation is underway in Rhode Island and New York.

The California law mandates that brakes contain no more than 5 percent copper beginning in 2021. By 2025, the limit will be reduced to 0.5 percent. Washington’s law is similar, with a 5 percent limit by 2021, and the establishment of an advisory committee to assess the feasibility of lowering the limit to 0.5 percent in subsequent years.

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake is a member of the Brake Manufacturers Council, an operating council of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). MEMA, on behalf of the council, has helped to shape the copper debate and legislation. The association applauded the signing of California’s bill.

Bendix says all of its foundation drum brake linings contain less than 5 percent copper, making them compliant to the 2021 requirement. Additionally, the company says its drum brake lineup is also nearly 100 percent compliant with the more stringent 2025 copper restrictions. The majority of Bendix air disc brake solutions contain less than 5 percent copper, making them 2021 compliant as well. Bendix is working to reduce the copper content in the small percentage of its disc brake solutions that would not be compliant to the future 2021 regulation. Disc brakes are semi-metallic and pose a greater compliance challenge for all manufacturers.