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Long Beach Airport adds new fuel option as it tries to stop planes from spewing lead pollution

2 min read

Currently, Long Beach is rated one of the worst general aviation airports in the U.S. when it comes to lead pollution. Officials hope that will now change, writes Brian Richardson in the Long Beach Business Journal.

In a nutshell:

Long Beach Airport, a bustling hub for general aviation, has introduced unleaded fuel options for its aircraft, moving away from the lead-spewing standard that has long raised health concerns. This change, in line with the national initiative EAGLE (Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions), led by the Federal Aviation Administration, aims to phase out leaded fuels for general aviation by 2030. The transition addresses concerns in one of the busiest general aviation airports, and Long Beach's proactive stance is setting an example for other airports, particularly due to its unique environmental considerations. The move is crucial, given that lead exposure from aviation gas can lead to serious health issues, particularly for nearby residents, including children.

Key quote:

“They’re taking progressive steps, and other airports in California are doing that, but you don’t see it throughout the United States because they don’t necessarily share the same environmental concerns that we have here,” Curt Castagna president of the Long Beach Airport Association and president and CEO of the National Air Transportation Association, said.

The big picture:

Exposure to lead emissions from aviation gas can pose significant health risks to communities located near airports. Lead exposure has been linked to a range of adverse health effects, including neurological and developmental issues in children, impaired kidney and immune system function, and cardiovascular problems. The introduction of unleaded aviation fuel may reduce lead emissions from aviation gas, protecting community health and fostering a cleaner and safer environment for all.

Read the article at the Long Beach Business Journal.

While lead was removed from automobile and other transportation gasoline more than two decades ago, it's still used in aviation gasoline, wrote Rachel Shaffer and Steven Gilbert in 2017. Is that about to change?

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

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