Although leaded gasoline was banned for use in road vehicles in 1995, more than 70 percent of U.S. airplanes still use fuel containing lead. These planes create almost 500 metric tons of lead emissions per year, much of which lingers around airports, exposing an estimated 3 million children who live and go to school in these areas.
A 2011 Duke University study found that children living within about 550 yards of an airport where leaded aviation gas is used have higher blood lead levels than other children. These children are disproportionately low income and from minority populations, reflecting an ugly national truth: Environmental pollution hurts low-income families far more than others.
Lead is an extremely toxic heavy metal that can cause severe nervous system damage, reduced intelligence, behavioral changes and developmental defects that are often irreversible. This is not only the case for humans, but for many species of animals we share this world with. It's high time we stopped using leaded aviation gasoline.
Fortunately, a bill recently introduced into the House of Representatives would result in a ban on leaded aviation gasoline in the United States.
March 23, 2016 Action Alert ID# 353
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