Federal-Mogul is making copper-based brake discrepancies a little easier to comprehend by encouraging the use of the new “Leaf Mark” that is intended to increase awareness of the new packaging covering “low copper” compliant brake pads.

This “Leaf Mark” has been introduced by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association as a pivotal reference to recent legislation in California and Washington that has mandated the dramatic reduction of copper and other potentially hazardous substances in original equipment and replacement brake pads and shoes.

To assist consumers and technicians, this new mark helps differentiate between all the new brake pads that comply with the new requirements.

So what are the each of the symbols and what do they mean?

Photo Courtesy: AfterMarket News
Photo Courtesy: AfterMarket News

Level “A”: Asbestiform fibers, less than 0.1% by weight
• Cadmium and its compounds, less than 0.01% by weight
• Chromium (VI)-salts, less than 0.1% by weight
• Lead and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
• Mercury and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
By 2014 in California and 2015 in Washington, all brake friction materials restricted to no more than 0.1% by weight of asbestiform fibers, chromium, lead and mercury and no more than 0.01% by weight of cadmium.

Level “B”: Contains between 0.5% and 5% of copper by weight
• Asbestiform fibers, less than 0.1% by weight
• Cadmium and its compounds, less than 0.01% by weight
• Chromium (VI)-salts, less than 0.1% by weight
• Lead and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
• Mercury and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
By 2021 in both states, copper in all brake friction materials must be less than 5% by weight.

Finally, level “N”: Contains less than 0.5% of copper by weight
• Asbestiform fibers, less than 0.1% by weight
• Cadmium and its compounds, less than 0.01% by weight
• Chromium (VI)-salts, less than 0.1% by weight
• Lead and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
• Mercury and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
By 2025, California law requires that copper must be less than 0.5% by weight. Washington will adopt a date for 0.5% by weight copper following a ­feasibility assessment.

To learn more about the industry’s shift to low- and zero-copper brake pads, visit www.WagnerBrake.com. All trademarks are owned by Federal-Mogul Corp. or one or more of its subsidiaries in one or more countries.