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Toxic leaded Petrol Eradicated from the World – UNEP

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World freed from toxic leaded petrolThe United Nations Programme on Environment(UNEP) formally stated that, toxic leaded Petrol was Eradicated from the World.It was achieved after the Campaign, that was launched by UNEP in association with the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) to eradicate the toxic leaded Petrol in 2002.

  • Algeria was the last country that eradicated the leaded petrol(It produced the leaded petrol almost till July 2021).

Key points

i.The toxic fuel has contaminated air, soil and water for almost a century.

ii.Most of the high income countries like USA, UK, Canada etc have banned the fuel by the 1980s.

iii.It has prevented more than 1.2 million premature deaths and saved around USD2.4 trillion annually, confirmed by the UNEP. Now there is no country in the world using leaded petrol.

iv.The addition of tetraethyl lead to petrol had spread widely practiced by  all countries soon after its anti-knock and octane-boosting properties were discovered. This has damaged the environment to an extreme level.

Contribution of India

  • The process of phase down was started in 1994 and got completed in 2000.
  • Finally in April 2000 India introduced unleaded petrol in the entire country.
  • After the lead phaseout, Indian refineries took voluntary steps to not to use MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl), yet another dangerous neurotoxin.


  • UNEP has been working with governments, private companies and civic groups to end the use of leaded petrol since 2002.It happened due to successful enforcement of the ban on leaded petrol.
  • A sub-regional agreement was signed to phase out leaded gasoline by January 1, 2006. It was agreed by 25 sub-Saharan African countries and other target groups to implement, a completely phase out leaded petrol in all countries.

About UNEP(United Nations Environment Programme)

Executive Director: Inger Andersen
Headquarters : Nairobi, Kenya