LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News Volume 14 Number 1, October  2013, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editor-in-Chief: Elizabeth O’Brien, Editorial Team: Hitesh Lohani, Anne Roberts and David Ratcliffe

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Letters of Support for the Nomination of Innospec for Public Eye Awards

Letter of Support from IPEN

Public Eye Awards

c/o Greenpeace


CH-8031 Zürich


September 27, 2013

Letter of support for the nomination of Innospec as the Most Despicable Corporation of the Year for 2014

The toxic properties of lead have been known to man for centuries. It is known to case damage to virtually all systems in the human body, irrespective of lead is ingested, inhaled or transferred from mother to child through the placenta. Children are especially sensitive to lead exposure, and while lead exposure is also harmful to adults, lead exposure harms children at much lower doses. The health effects are generally irreversible and can have a lifelong impact.

Exposure to low levels of lead during early years is know to cause numerous detrimental effects such as loss of cognition, shortening of attention span, alteration of behavior, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. Evidence of reduced intelligence caused by childhood exposure to lead has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to list “lead caused mental retardation” as a recognized disease. WHO also lists it as one of the top ten diseases whose health burden among children is due to modifiable environmental factors. The phase-out and ban of leaded gasoline in most countries of the world reduced lead childhood poisoning, and improved billions of lives.

To continue to produce, market and sell Tetraethyl lead despite knowing the harmful effects shows not only an incredible callousness and heartlessness, but is completely intolerable and must stop. IPEN therefore wholeheartedly supports the nomination of Innospec as the most Despicable Corporation of the Year.

On behalf of IPEN,

Sara Brosché, PhD

Project Manager,

IPEN´s Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign

Letter of Support from Philippe Grandjean, Harvard Public Eye Awards

c/o GreenpeaceSyddansk Universitet - University of Southern Denmark


CH-8031 Zürich


Institute of Public Health

Department of Environmental Medicine

J.B. Winsloews Vej 17A, 2. floor

DK-5000 Odense C

Tel. +45 6550 3768

Fax +45 6591 1458 (institute fax)


September 24, 2013


Nomination of Innospec for Public Eye Award 2014

The poison that has undoubtedly ruined the largest number of lives – by causing chemical brain drain – is lead. In the form of tetraalkyllead compounds for octane-boosting of petrol, it has been successfully marketed for 60 years by a UK company, in most recent decades despite its being banned in most countries. When completing my book on “Only one chance” (Oxford University Press, 2013), I came across shocking evidence of the company’s merciless and callous performance.

I therefore find the nomination from the LEAD Group compelling. The fact that Innospec continued marketing their poisonous product long after its use was uniformly considered a public health hazard is astonishing and deplorable. At the company web site, the following statement was provided: “Tetraethyl lead waste leaves the exhaust system as tetraethyl lead salts which dissolve harmlessly in the rain.” Adverse effects caused by lead on brain development are not at all harmless, although the mostly become apparent only in the long term. Thus, tracing neurological deficits and behavioural abnormalities back to a specific product may be difficult. However, decades of research has documented that lead is the primary chemical brain drainer, and petrol additives have constituted a major, if not the most important, source of lead exposure in most parts of the world. Worldwide loss in lifetime income due to lead toxicity to brain development has been calculated at hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Thus, as The

Guardian wrote in 2010 when the company was fined a small amount for bribing officials to allow continued use of their toxic product, “the only individuals to have suffered penalties have been the nameless children who... may have inhaled lead dust.” I consider Innospec a worthy recipient of the Public Eye award. In fact I cannot imagine a better candidate.

Philippe Grandjean, MD, DMSc

Professor of Environmental Medicine

Adjunct Professor, Harvard School of Public Health

Letter of Support from Occupational Knowledge International

Occupational Knowledge International

September 26, 2013

Public Eye Awards

c/o Greenpeace


CH-8031 Zürich


Re: Nomination of Innospec for Public Eye Award 2014

Countries around the globe are still suffering from the aftermath of the use of a lead compound as a gasoline additive. Despite this legacy, the market for this product is still dominated by Innospec, the manufacture of tetraethyl lead.

I consider Innospec a worthy recipient of the Public Eye award and support the nomination from the LEAD Group.


Perry Gottesfeld

Executive Director

Letter of Support from Dr Howard Mielke, Tulane

Tulane University - School of Medicine

September 26, 2013

Department of Pharmacology

1430 Tulane Avenue SL-83 New Orleans, Louisiana 70112

Re: Innospec Nomination by The LEAD Group for the Public Eye Awards 2014

I am writing this letter in support of The Lead Group nomination for the Innospec Public Eye Awards 2014 Nomination.

As a researcher, I began study of soil lead in the mid 1970’s, when I noticed a curious anomaly in the chemistry of urban vegetable garden soils of Baltimore, MD. I observed that the concentration of soil lead was highest toward the inner city of Baltimore, where brick, unpainted buildings existed and the lowest in gardens located in outlying areas of the city where painted houses were common. The dogma at the time was that paint was the major source of soil lead contamination. Surely there was lead in paint but to explain the anomaly there had to be another source of massive source of lead contaminating the inner city of Baltimore.

Lead additives in automotive fuels turned out to be the lead source that best explained the high concentration of lead in areas of the city with the largest traffic congestion. We now know that the lead burden of the population was from the invisible lead particles that were exhausted as aerosols from vehicles using fuel with lead additives. The amounts of lead in fuel are difficult to comprehend. It requires thinking about the meaning of a gram of lead and how many children can be exposed by each gram. Then it requires one to understand how much fuel is being consumed by each driver and the collective actions of all drivers.

In the 1960’s and early 1970’s virtually all vehicle fuel contained lead. In the U.S. there were 2 g of lead per U.S. gallon of fuel. Each vehicle carried at least 20 gallons of fuel which held 40 grams of lead. A gram of lead is equivalent to 1,000,000 micrograms; thus each car carried at least 40,000,000 micrograms of lead. The traffic congestion was very severe on roads feeding into the inner city and thousands of cars were driven into and out of the city each day.

Integrating these facts with the medical understanding based on excretion rates, that the total daily tolerable intake of lead for a child under 6 years old is 6 micrograms per day. That means that just one vehicle with a full tank of fuel could potentially reach the total tolerable intake for over 6 million children. At the time the blood lead of the average U.S. child exceeded 15 micrograms per deciliter. If the intake of lead is more the 6 micrograms from all lead sources, then the body burden increases. We now know the cascade of medical consequences related to childhood exposure to lead includes some of the most costly health issues of society include, behavior and learning issues, violence, kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.—the list is long. Millions of citizens suffer from the consequences of the use of lead additives in vehicle fuels, and the symptoms are extremely subtle in childhood but become pernicious throughout life. The idea that Innospec sells a product that causes lifelong health and societal harm makes the company an excellent candidate for the Public Eye 2014 Award.


Howard W. Mielke, Ph.D.

Letter of Support from the National Toxics Network (NTN)

National Toxics Network (NTN)

28 September 2013

To: Public Eye Awards

c/o Greenpeace, and The Berne Declaration, Switzerland

The National Toxics Network (NTN) is extremely concerned about people’s ongoing exposure to lead. Lead exposure reduces IQs in children, increases crime rates and causes the premature death of millions of adults worldwide.

We fully support The LEAD Group’s nomination of Innospec Inc – maker of tetraethyl lead (TEL) for motor fuel - as the Most Despicable Corporation in the World, in the Public Eye Awards 2014.

It is more than enough that Innospec has contributed to mass lead poisoning of every species on earth for 60 years. Together we can make them stop, so that the world has a chance of achieving the first complete global elimination of a toxic chemical.

Yours sincerely


NTN Coordinator

Letter of Support from UNETMAC, Uganda

Uganda Network on Toxic Free Malaria Control (UNETMAC)

Plot 398 Kalerwe- Gayaza Road, Ark Building,

Block 5 (Next to Total Fuel Station),

P.O Box 34407 Kampala, Uganda

Uganda Network on Toxic Free Malaria Control (UNETMAC)MosquitoTel: +256 414 599 860, Mob: +256 712 213 888, Fax: +256 414 343 848

Email: info@unetmac.org, elladmuyambi@yahoo.com, unetmac@yahoo.com; Website: www.unetmac.org

Our Ref: 01/UNETMAC-LEAD GRP/9/13

Date: 27th September, 2013

The Officer in Charge, Public Eye Awards,

C/O Green Peace, Postfach,

CH 8031 Zurich, Schweiz.

Dear Sir/Madam;

Re: Letter of Support for the Nomination of Innospec by the LEAD Group

Hope this note finds you well.  I am named Ellady Muyambi, the Secretary General for Uganda Network on Toxic Free Malaria Control (UNETMAC), a non- for profit, non- governmental organization fully registered with the Government of Uganda in 2008. UNETMAC is an umbrella organization which, coordinates, supports and builds capacity for its partner organizations/members to engage in sustainable malaria control initiatives, sound chemicals management approaches as well as sustainable community development interventions. Generally, UNETMAC strives to achieve a malaria free world as well as a toxic free future.

As part of its effort to compliment other partners in the promotion of sound management of chemicals (SMC) globally and realizing the benefits that can be realized from the global elimination of lead petrol and putting into consideration the fact that Innospec Inc (and its precursors Octel Starreon, Octel and Associated Octel) has been manufacturing, fraudulently marketing and bribing officials in order to sell the lead additive for petrol/gasoline which has negatively affected the human health and environment the world over, I do hereby support the nomination of “Innospec” by the LEAD Group for the Public Eye Awards, 2014.

The Lead Education and Abatement Design (LEAD) Group has been doing a wonderful job in raising public awareness about the dangers posed by lead poisoning and we in the developing world has benefited from their knowledge. I therefore have no doubt in commending Elizabeth O’Brien of The LEAD Group for her Public Eye Awards nomination, 2014.

Best regards



Letter of Support from the Trust for Lead Poisoning Prevention


October 4, 2013

Public Eye Awards

c/o Greenpeace


CH-8031 Zurich


RE: Nomination of Innospec for the Public Eye Award 2014

Dear Public Eye Awards:

I am writing on behalf of the TLPP (Trust for Lead Poisoning Prevention) to support the nomination of Innospec for the 2014 Public Eye Award.

Leaded gasoline is among the most destructive and inutile of human inventions, To start with, because of its chemical formulation, its use in vehicles results in the environmental dispersion of methyl bromide (the second most common greenhouse gas). Despite persisting myths to the contrary, leaded gasoline is actually harmful to, not protective of, vehicular performance: it damages engines and interferes with on-board pollution control (e. g., catalytic converters) and computer-based diagnostic systems (see TLPP, Myths and Realities of Phasing Out Leaded Gasoline, http://globalleadnet.com/51),

But the most destructive effects of leaded gasoline are related to its essential and characteristic additive, tetraethyl lead (TEL). Fundamentally, vehicular use and emissions of leaded gasoline is the most efficient delivery system for dispersing lead into the environment. Consequently leaded gasoline has been the main contributor to lead poisoning worldwide. The devastating individual and societal effects of lead poisoning and pollution – especially its adverse impacts on children’s development – have been documented for decades. Even when leaded gasoline is at long last eliminated globally, it will leave a legacy of environmental lead deposition that will have to be addressed for generations to come. (For a definitive history of leaded gasoline, see Jamie Lincoln Kitman, The Secret History of Lead, www.thenation.com/article/secret-history-lead).

There is no excuse for the continued use and production of this toxic product. Alternative technologies and substitute products are readily available and both developed and developing countries have demonstrated their feasibility and cost-effectiveness. International support for eliminating leaded gasoline and expediting the necessitous transition to cleaner fuels, yet Innospec continues to produce TEL and opportunistically promote leaded gasoline use.

Innospec and its previous incarnations – most notoriously, Octel – belong to a dark chapter in the history of public health. Innospec now functions as a “pusher” of a toxic product, dedicated to squeezing out the last ounce of profit from its sale before international opprobrium leads to its complete elimination. For this, Innospec richly deserves a Public Eye Award.

TLPP: The Trust for Lead Poisoning Prevention promotes environmental health in the developing world through integrated approaches to prevention that highlight lead poisoning and toxics pollution as key case studies. The Trust’s overarching goal is to help catalyze and replicate internationalized solutions to sustainable development: solutions that engage all elements of the international system in reinforcing action – from the community to the international.

Very truly yours,

K. W. James Rochow


Trust for Lead Poisoning Prevention

33 Alexandria Drive

Oxon Hill, MD 20745, U.S.A

Tel: +1-301-567-4700

Fax: +1-301-567-7885

E-mail: jrochow@globalleadnet.org

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