Book chapter

Environmental Impact of Alkyl Lead(IV) Derivatives: Perspective after Their Phase-out

PublisherBerlin : De Gruyter
Publication date2017

The use of alkyl lead derivatives as antiknock agents in gasoline can be considered as one of the main pollution disasters of the 20th century because of both the global character of the pollution emitted and the seriousness of the impact on human health. Alkyl lead derivatives in themselves cannot be considered to be persistent pollutants because they readily degrade either before being released from the tailpipes or soon afterwards in the atmosphere. However, the inorganic lead they produced has been deposited in soils all over the planet, largely, but not exclusively in urban areas and along motorways, since the direct emission of lead into the atmosphere favored its dispersal over great distances: The signal of the massive use of alkyl lead derivatives has been found all over the world, including in remote sites such as polar areas. The short residence time of lead in the atmosphere implies that this compartment is highly responsive to changes in emissions. This was demonstrated when leaded gasoline was phased-out and is in striking contrast to the very long permanence of inorganic lead in soils, where resuspension is a permanent source of toxic lead.

Citation (ISO format)
FILELLA, Montserrat, BONET, Josep. Environmental Impact of Alkyl Lead(IV) Derivatives: Perspective after Their Phase-out. In: Lead – Its Effects on Environment and Health. Berlin : De Gruyter, 2017. doi: 10.1515/9783110434330
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Book chapter (Published version)

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