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U.S. EPA to review general aviation lead emissions risks -Breaking

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© Reuters. The sign can be seen at Washington, D.C., U.S.A, headquarters of United States Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

WASHINGTON (Reuters), – On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) will confirm that emissions from piston engines using leaded gasoline pose a risk to the public’s health.

According to U.S. government estimates, about 70% of lead enters the atmosphere from the general aviation aircrafts in the United States that use leaded fuel.

In a statement, Michael Regan, EPA Administrator, stated that the EPA had been studying lead emission from piston-engine aircraft close to airports for many years.

Commercial aircraft use jet fuel that contains lead. Jet fuel is made without it.

According to the EPA, it responded to multiple petitions, including those from Middleton (Wisconsin) and Santa Clara County, California. The EPA plans to release a proposal for public comment and review this year, and then take the final steps in 2023.

The EPA was contacted by a petition in 2006 asking it to regulate lead emissions from aircrafts used for general aviation. In 2010, the EPA began a review of this issue. It stated in 2015 that it planned to publish a final finding on endangerment in 2018.

The United States has seen a decline in levels of airborne lead since 1980. However, it is the main source of remaining lead emissions from the air that remains.

According to the EPA, children exposed to lead may have long-lasting and irreversible health effects.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), stated that it is also working to transition the aircrafts to fuel without lead.

“To accomplish this we need to find a solution which protects the public health, while maintaining or improving safety for the general aviation sector,” stated the FAA. The FAA noted it was currently testing unleaded high-octane aviation gasolines and is currently evaluating them. 

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