Algeria stopped selling leaded gasoline in July, making it the last country to stop marketing it and marking the end of its use as an automotive fuel.

Many nations began phasing out leaded gasoline in the 1970s and 1980s due to health and environmental concerns, and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) began a final push to ban its use in 2002 under the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles. First used as an effective additive to improve engine Source: AlamySource: Alamyperformance, tetraethyllead has also proven a pervasive environmental contaminant and threat to human health.

Banning the use of leaded gasoline has been estimated to prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths annually and save $2.45 trillion for the global economy,

“The successful enforcement of the ban on leaded petrol is a huge milestone for global health and our environment,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP. “Overcoming a century of deaths and illnesses that affected hundreds of millions and degraded the environment worldwide, we are invigorated to change humanity’s trajectory for the better through an accelerated transition to clean vehicles and electric mobility.”

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com