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Leaded petrol eradicated, says UNEP

GS Paper 3:

Topics covered: Environmental conservation


Context: The use of leaded petrol has been eradicated from the globe as per the observation made by UNEP

More on this

  • Achieving of this milestone will prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths and save world economies over $2.4 trillion annually
  • Algeria — the last country to use the fuel — exhausted its supplies last month
  • India banned leaded petrol in March 2000

Harmful effects of leaded petrol

  • Lead exposure can have serious consequences for the health of children. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioral disorders.
  • Lead in bone is released into blood during pregnancy and becomes a source of exposure to the developing fetus.
  • The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimated that in 2017, lead exposure accounted for 1.06 million deaths and 24.4 million years of healthy life lost (disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)) worldwide due to long-term effects on health.
  • Lead also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage.

About UNEP

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

It aims to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya

The broad areas where UNEP focuses are:  climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, chemicals and waste, resource efficiency, and environment under review

The UNEP is funded by voluntary contributions of its members

It hosts the secretariats of many critical multilateral environmental agreements and research bodies, bringing together nations and the environmental community to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. These include the following:

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity
  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
  • The Minamata Convention on Mercury
  • The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
  • The Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol
  • The Convention on Migratory Species
  • The Carpathian Convention
  • The Bamako Convention
  • The Tehran Convention


Insta-curious link

Areas where oil is found in this world- Reference


Prelims link

  1. What is leaded petrol?
  2. Harmful effects of leaded petrol
  3. UNEP- aims, powers and mandate

Mains link

Throw light on the UNEP’s significance and its role in environmental conservation efforts