Since 1922, the use of tetraethyllead as a petrol additive to improve engine performance has been a catastrophe for the environment and public health. 2021 has marked the end of leaded petrol worldwide, after it has contaminated air, dust, soil drinking water and food crops for the better part of a century, as reported by UN´s official website.
Plus, leaded petrol caused heart disease, stroke and cancer. It also affects the development of the human brain, especially harming children, with studies suggesting it reduced 5-10 IQ points, so the UN Environment Program (UNEP) began its campaign to eliminate lead in petrol in 2002.
Banning the use of leaded petrol has been estimated to prevent over 1.2 million premature deaths per year, increase IQ points among children, save US$2.45 trillion for the global economy, and decrease crime rates.
‘The successful enforcement of the ban on leaded petrol is a huge milestone for global health and our environment,’ said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. ‘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.’
Experts said that while the world eliminated the largest source of lead pollution, bold actions are still needed to curb it from other sources such as paints, batteries, and household items.
pgh/Pll/oda / lpn