UN Declares Eradication of Leaded Petrol Worldwide

UN has declared the eradication of leaded petrol worldwide, but not until after it has contaminated air, dust, soil, drinking water and food crops for the better part of a century. Banning the use of leaded petrol has been estimated to prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths per year, increase IQ points among children, save $2.45 trillion for the global economy and decrease crime rates.

Leaded petrol causes heart disease, stroke and cancer. It also affected the development of the human brain, especially harming children, with studies suggesting it reduced 5-10 IQ points.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Program, (UNEP), said;

The successful enforcement of the ban on leaded petrol is a huge milestone for global health and our environment. Overcoming a century of deaths and illnesses that affected hundreds of millions and degraded the environment worldwide, we are invigorated to change humanity’s trajectory for the better through an accelerated transition to clean vehicles and electric mobility.

The practice of adding tetraethyl lead to petrol had spread widely to all countries soon after its anti-knock and octane-boosting properties were discovered. This deadly neurotoxin has already done a great deal of damage to the environment since then.

UN Declares Eradication of Leaded Petrol Worldwide

Image: Daniel Dickinson/UN News

While all the countries have followed different timelines for the lead to phase out, developing countries, especially those in Africa and a few in Asia have taken the longest time.

In fact, the last vestige was Alegria that until last month was producing leaded fuel. Now, with Algeria finally stopping this practice, it has been possible to completely eliminate leaded automotive fuels, worldwide.

When UNEP Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) was created in 2002, a global target for the elimination of leaded petrol was set, as many as 117 countries were still using leaded petrol.

There is a steep learning curve from this experience for future clean air action. This is relevant for similar and ongoing campaigns like reducing sulfur in fuels to enable the application of advanced emission control systems.

Via: Science Alert

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