Much hue and cry is being raised on the issue of carbon footprint and related environmental problems caused by aircrafts. The international network of environmental organizations, Friends of the Earth, has come with another dimension of the same problem, but this time regarding the content of the fuel used for aviation purposes.
Aviation fuel is the largest source of lead emissions. The leaded aviation fuel is usually used in piston engine aircraft. It is a model typically used to fly in and out of small and municipal airports. Friends of the Earth (FOE) is calling on the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) to get the menace of lead content in the fuel under control. The organization has been pressurizing the agency to phase out lead from aviation since 2003.
According to the findings of the Environmental Protection Agency, people engaging in areas near to the airport premises are running high risk. The health of the people especially children, airplane pilots, student-trainees, and passengers are in a vulnerable condition due to the exposure to lead emissions from the aircrafts.
Not only the emissions but also the lead depositions that collect on plants in agricultural areas where piston engine planes are used also posses harm.
The EPA identified at least 16 regions last month that do not meet clean air standards on lead emissions. Fifteen of the sixteen areas are declared to have unsafe levels of lead in air are in counties that contain at least one airport where lead is emitted, stated the agency.
Nearly 20,000 airports in the U.S. allow leaded fuel, which is said to contribute half of the nation’s total lead air emissions
Earlier the EPA has phased out lead from gasoline for cars. The environmental organizations and activists are looking forward hopefully that the Environmental Protection Agency would take necessary action in this regard.