The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday that it will assess whether emissions from piston-engine airplanes that use leaded gasoline contribute to pollution that endangers public health.
"EPA has been investigating the impact on air quality of lead emissions from aircraft piston engines in areas near airports for years, and now we are going to apply that information to determine whether this pollution is a health hazard. and human well-being"Agency administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.
The text emphasizes that airplanes that use this type of fuel are one of the largest sources of lead emissions in the atmosphere that remain in operation.
At the same time, he pointed out that lead levels in the air in the United States have dropped 99% since 1980.
The EPA specified that it plans to present its initial results throughout 2022 and that, after a public review, it will deliver its final conclusions on the effect of the consumption of this type of fuel by airplanes in 2023.
The agency recalled that lead can also be found in paint, contaminated land or industrial emissions from battery recycling or metal processing, and that children can suffer irreversible effects if exposed to the material.
"No blood lead level has been identified that can be considered safe in children."insists the EPA.
The agency’s evaluation responds to requests from several environmental organizations and local US councils, including those of Santa Clara (California) and Middletown (Wisconsin).