Top Mesothelioma Law Firm Adds Better Brakes Rule to Website

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The mesothelioma lawyers at Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason have updated the section for mechanics and clutch repair workers on their website to reflect the latest information regarding Washington’s Better Brakes Rule, a law passed last year with the aim to reduce the use of toxic materials, including asbestos, in automotive brake shoes, linings and pads.

There is no way to tell if brakes contain asbestos or not, so it's best to assume they do.

Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason are mesothelioma attorneys who, for more than 30 years, have been representing professional and home mechanics who have been injured by automotive products containing asbestos. Having seen the devastation a diagnosis of mesothelioma causes to mechanics and their families, CPSM aims to provide the latest rules and regulations that can help prevent exposure and protect those in the industry from asbestos related diseases.

CPSM has updated the section on their website devoted to auto mechanics and clutch and brake repair workers, adding all the essential information about the Better Brakes Rule, a recently passed law in Washington that applies to the automotive industry.

While the use of asbestos was becoming more and more regulated in the United States in the mid to late 1980’s, asbestos continued to be added to brakes and clutches long past this time. The risk of exposure to mechanics remains high as millions of older model cars contain asbestos parts and asbestos clutch linings, brake pads and shoes can still be found in the aftermarket. This puts professional as well as home mechanics at risk of deadly exposure which decades later can develop into serious asbestos related diseases.

The Better Brakes Rule, overseen by the Department of Ecology (Ecology) seeks to reduce the risk of exposure to toxic materials to not only protect human health but also that of the environment. Contamination occurs when repairing or removing asbestos products as well as in the general wear and tear that causes break down of parts, leaving deposits of toxic materials on roadways that eventually end up in streams, rivers and water sources.

To prevent this, the basic provisions of the Better Brakes Rule, according to Ecology, are:

  •     Brake pads and shoes manufactured after January 1, 2014, must not contain asbestos, hexavalent chromium, mercury, cadmium, or lead. Auto shops and other distributors of brakes will be able to sell any existing inventory for ten years.
  •     Brake pads manufactured after January 1, 2021, must not contain more than five percent copper by weight.
  •     Beginning in 2015, Ecology will review relevant information and consult with a committee of experts to determine if alternative brake friction materials, containing less than 0.5 percent copper, are available.
  •     Eight years after Ecology determines that alternative brake friction materials are available, brake pads containing more than 0.5 percent copper may not be sold in the state.
  •     Brake manufacturers will use accredited laboratories and certify to Ecology that their brake pads and shoes comply with the law and will mark proof of certification on all pads and packaging offered for sale in Washington.
  •     Ecology will track data provided by manufacturers to ensure that concentrations of nickel, zinc, and antimony in automobile brake pads do not increase by more than 50 percent.

Ecology is offering free public workshops this month, one online and the other in person, to provide more details and answer any questions regarding the implementation of this new law. Brake manufacturers as well as brake pad distributors, retailers, installers and mechanics are encouraged and invited to attend. To register for the workshops, http://www.ecy.wa.gov › Ecology home › News [click here __title__ ].

If you are a mechanic and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason today at 1-800-440-4262 to speak directly with one of our experienced asbestos attorneys and to receive a free case evaluation, brochures and other important resources regarding filing a lawsuit and finding the best treatment.

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Sally Clapper