I thought we got rid of leaded gasoline in 1990, but it turns
out that it is still used in airplanes, in certain heavy vehicles,
boats, and in competition vehicles (racing cars/trucks). In 2007,
Environment Canada held a public consultation
on whether competition vehicles should continue to be allowed to
use leaded gasoline, after January 1, 2008:
"Health Canada remains concerned over the exposure of
spectators and nearby residents to lead emitted at race tracks.
Recent health studies have lead to increased concern about the
effects of lead exposures, especially among children. Intellectual
and neurobehavioral effects are being detected at lower body lead
burdens than were previously thought to be detrimental.
Import volume data received by Environment Canada under the
regulations have shown increased volumes of leaded gasoline being
imported for use in competition vehicles... the amount of lead
being emitted at racetracks has increased in proportion to the
increased fuel being burned....given that the Canadian race car
industry continues to grow, exposure to lead from competition
vehicle emissions is deemed a significant contributor to overall
lead exposure for people who live near to and/or attend racing car
event, and is thus a cause for concern."
Despite the health risk, Environment Canada extended the exemption for racing vehicles to January 2010,
and then removed the expiry date entirely. So, leaded gas is still
being used in racing cars and trucks in Canada, with no end in
sight. People who live near races are usually distressed about the
impact of the noise on their health; do they even know about the
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