United Nations officials recently reported that Algeria was the last country on earth to stop selling highly toxic leaded gasoline. The United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) was announced Monday. AP stories that EPA declared that “officially” the use of this fuel has ended, which has been linked to a number of health issues.
According to UNEP’s executive director Inger Andersen, the successful implementation of the leaded petrol ban is a significant milestone for our planet and global health.
Globally, Toxic Gasoline Has Been Phased Out
As introduced about 100 years ago to increase engine performance, leaded fuel was widely used for decades before researchers found associations with heart disease, stroke, and brain damage, the Associated Press reported. UNEP stated that from leaded gas there were millions of premature deaths, intellectual impairment in children, and illness in adults.
In developed nations, leaded fuel was phased out during the 1970s and 1980s. However, it remained popular in developed countries until a United Nation campaign started in 2002 to eliminate it. The ban on gasoline containing led prevents $2.45 trillion in damage to the global economy, according to Andersen.
United States Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe spoke to reporters last week. As a result of the ban, measurements showed blood lead levels declined “literally, literally, dramatically” in the United States. Janet McCabe said the EPA is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to address the issue of leaded gas in aviation fuel for small planes in the United States.
This is an extraordinary global success story. At present, all automotive fuels worldwide are lead-free. Today, there is not a single gas station selling leaded fuel. A gradual but silent change in behavior has gone virtually unnoticed despite one of the most rigorous, strong, and passionate campaigns in history for public health, but especially for children’s brain health. A press conference was held by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on August 30, 2021, to celebrate the victory.
What makes this issue so crucial?
Lead exposures from fumes from aspirated petrol vehicles are a significant problem. Lead, which is toxic, affects many parts of the body, and is particularly dangerous for young children, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In addition to the brain and liver, it also affects the kidneys and the bones. In order to understand exposure to lead, blood lead levels are measured. A pregnant female’s blood becomes contaminated with lead during pregnancy, exposing the developing fetus to the dangerous substance.
New research indicates that lead can cause damage to the child’s brain at blood levels as low as 5 micrograms per decilitre (μ/dl). The UNEP cited a Duke University study demonstrating that, by age 38, children with elevated blood lead levels are as likely as those without high blood lead levels to have signs of mental illness and trouble controlling their emotions. In fact, exposure to lead in childhood can significantly affect a person’s mental health and personality throughout life, according to a study conducted among people raised on leaded gasoline.
Moreover, in conclusion, this global victory is made all the more impressive by the fact that the WHO states that there is no safe level of lead exposure; yet, lead exposure can be easily prevented. It has been estimated that removing lead from petrol will lead to global benefits. In extrapolating US benefits to global benefits, 2.44 trillion dollars in the gross domestic product is estimated at global benefits annually. By the end of the year, 322,286,258 points of IQ would have improved, 789,028 premature deaths per year would have been averted and 125,403 premature deaths would have been avoided.
With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.