Countries in the MENA region are more than often in a paradoxical situation that of being the last place on Earth where leaded petrol is legal. These face challenges on several front, mainly in the socio-political and economical arenas and look as they have little time to sort out their in-trade products effects on their own people.
Certain Octane compounds, although banished throughout the world are, still commercialized in certain countries as fuel additives made from Tetra-lead, explains AlgeriePart, a local Algerian media citing The Independent. Tetra-lead or tetraethyl lead Tetraethyllead | Pb(C2H5)4 is an organometallic compound and an oily liquid that has been widely used until the early 2000s as an anti-knock additive in all internal combustion engines petrol. However, the toxicity of these and their environmental impact gradually led to their abandonment, that started in the United States but was shortly followed on by Europe in the 1980s.
Greenpeace calls for Government to ban exports of tetraethyl lead, which was outlawed in the UK in 2000 because it can cause premature death, brain damage and a host of other health problem.7.
Written by Ian Johnston, Environment Correspondent on Tuesday 22 August
A British company is selling lead fuel additives – banned because of their “catastrophic” effects on human health – to the last remaining country in the world where they are still legal.
The Cheshire-based firm Innospec Ltd is believed to be the last place on the planet that still makes tetraethyl lead, or TEL, which has been linked to an array of severe health problems, including premature death and brain damage.
Greenpeace, which highlighted the firm’s continued production of the toxic additive, called for the Government to ban its sale, saying allowing the export of such a dangerous substance was “unacceptable”.
In 2014, two Innospec executives were convicted of plotting to make regular cash inducements to Indonesian officials between 2002 and 2008 to smooth sales of TEL in the country.
TEL was banned in Europe and North America in 2000 following evidence that it causes damage to the brain and nervous system, particularly in children. The ban has been linked to a subsequent fall in violent crime in many countries because people’s brains are no longer being damaged by lead pollution in the air.
A spokesperson for Innospec, a subsidiary of a US firm, told The Independent it had been working with countries to gradually phase out use of TEL in fuel and now only Algeria was left. He said they were unclear at what stage the process had reached in Algeria and appealed for information.
Rebecca Newsom, a senior political advisor at Greenpeace, said campaigners had been asking the UK Government to “urgently stop dangerous lead exports” since 2013.
“So it is deeply concerning that this is taking so long to end,” she said.
“British businesses should be held to the same safety standards for all their products – wherever they are sold.
Read more on The Independent.