Eradication of Leaded Petrol

News: Recently, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)announced that the use of leaded petrol has been eradicated from the globe.

Need to eradicate leaded petrol:

  • Lead exposure can have serious consequences for the health of children. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioral disorders. Lead in bone is released into blood during pregnancy and becomes a source of exposure to the developing fetus.
  • The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimated that in 2017, lead exposure accounted for 1.06 million deaths and 24.4 million years of healthy life lost (disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)) worldwide due to long-term effects on health. Lead also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage.


  • It is a milestone that will prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths and save world economies over USD 2.4 trillion annually. It is a huge milestone for global health and environment.
  • UNEP warned that fossil fuel use in general must still be drastically reduced to stave off the frightening effects of climate change.
  • Until the 1970s, almost all the gasoline sold across the globe contained lead. When UNEP launched its campaign named Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) against leaded petrol in 2002, many major economic powers had already stopped using the fuel, including the United States, China and India. But the situation in lower-income nations remained dire.
  • More than 100 countries around the world were still using leaded petrol, despite studies linking it to premature deaths, poor health and soil and air pollution. Concerns were first raised as early as 1924.
  • In July 2021, it was eradicated from Algeria – the last country using leaded petrol.

About UNEP

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
  • It aims to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
  • The broad areas where UNEP focuses are:  climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, chemicals and waste, resource efficiency, and environment under review The UNEP is funded by voluntary contributions of its members
  • It hosts the secretariats of many critical multilateral environmental agreements and research bodies, bringing together nations and the environmental community to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. These include the following:
    • The Convention on Biological Diversity
    • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
    • The Minamata Convention on Mercury
    • The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
    • The Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol
    • The Convention on Migratory Species
    • The Carpathian Convention
    • The Bamako Convention
    • The Tehran Convention