Poll: Does It Matter That The EPA Is About To Declare Lead Dangerous?


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  1. It is beyond any scientific doubt that TEL poses severe health risks, particularly in children. “Because of its highly lipophilic nature, tetraethyl lead passes the blood-brain barrier readily and accumulates in the limbic forebrain, frontal cortex, and hippocampus. Symptoms of acute high-level exposure include delirium, nightmares, irritability, and hallucinations.” – Neurology and Clinical Health Science. The fact that 35% of the respondents to the poll believe that “It was never a health risk to begin with” would cause one to believe that they have been sniffing a little too much Avgas.

    • Yeah, a health risk if you eat the stuff. More of a problem in leaded paint in 60+ year old houses. Show me the studies which show a higher concentration of lead in the air around airports. What about health data from pilots or linemen who pump avgas all day? I don’t think that data exists. So no, lead is not a significant health hazard to pilots or linemen. Just use reasonable precaution when handling any hazardous liquid. Lead is more a detriment to our engines, which everyone knows. So I will be glad to see it go away. I’d be happy if the EPA went away, also.

  2. “Does It Matter That The EPA Is About To Declare Lead Dangerous?”

    AvWeb, write better questions. Lead was declared dangerous 100 years ago. Your question is about the hazards of tetraethyl lead in aviation fuel. Why not take the extra five seconds and make your question clearly about that topic?

  3. You would THINK that with all of the data the FAA has accumulated on pilots over the years, that any problems would show up on pilot’s medicals. I can’t think of a better cohort of information on the subject than pilots–they have had regular medical checkups over the years–anybody with a real interest should be able to collect and parse that information. If pilots had recurring symptoms, or increased morbidity (compared to the general public), it should be readily apparent.

    35% of the pilots responding on this site don’t believe it is a health risk at all. ALL of us would like the FAA to provide the answers as to specific health risks, so we can avoid or accept the risk. All we have today is opinion, innuendo, and conjecture–no data to back up the possible claims. Would anybody consider it good practice to destroy a vital industry, based on OPINION–not FACTS? Is it any wonder that the FAA has lost credibility on so many subjects? (“I’m from the FAA, and I’m here to HELP?”)

    C’mon, FAA–as pilots, we have complied with your demands for the physicals–WHY NOT USE THAT INFORMATION YOU COLLECTED?

    • Good point on the FAAs’ collection of medical data of pilots. As far as destroying a vital industry, a past administration did everything they could to destroy the coal industry. The current one is trying to destroy the oil industry along with the automotive industry (mandating no gas powered engines). Any demise of the general aviation would be just collateral damage. Since most aviation and automotive gasoline have known cancer causing ingredients mixed in how long would it be before the EPA makes the same finding as the one that is coming on lead in a gas? Since the EPA has been trying to kill off diesel powered cars and light trucks in the US, how long before jet fuel becomes the next EPA target? After all there has been an attempt to put Diesel engines in planes burning JetA.

  4. Sure it does. Everything I read about UL avgas says it will be 15-20% more expensive (if we’re lucky). With avgas around the PNW going for above $7.00 per gallon (about 30% higher than Pre-JB/KH, it doesn’t take my years of micro and macro econ to say… we’re about to see just how much demand exists for that boutique dinosaur by product we require (REQUIRE) to fly. PLEEEAASE don’t expect that GA will flourish when the holy battery or fuel cell aircraft arrive to save us. Maybe a hundred or maybe even two hundred units will be built per year… but not a lot of GA owner/operators are likely to afford the price tag.

    So the endangerment finding by the JB/KH administration really is a very big deal. I’m sure we all know that access to the N.A.S. (that’s National Air Space… NOT Naval Air Station) is very definitely a privilege… it was every a ‘right’ that happy time is a century or more past.