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Media Release – Thursday 27th October 2011

Ending the leaded petrol era by the end of 2011

Young Australian puts the case to Nairobi UN meeting

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Zac Gethin-Damon from Sydney, representing Australian environmental NGO The LEAD Group, has put the case for ending the sale of leaded-petrol by the end of 2011, at a meeting of the Partners of the ‘Partnership for Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles,’ held in Nairobi on 26 and 27 October

Leaded petrol is still sold in 6 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Iraq, North Korea and Yemen.

Nineteen-year-old Gethin-Damon presented research showing that four factors stand in the way of the six countries converting to non-leaded petrol: corruption, lack of democracy, lack of press freedom, and lack of economic freedom.

“Given these barriers, the key to ending the sale of leaded petrol in the six is to stop the supply of the additive Tetra-Ethyl Lead (TEL),” said Gethin-Damon. “TEL is the octane enhancer that turns petrol into leaded petrol. Swiss-owned Australian mining company Xstrata provides the lead, a US company manufacturing in the United Kingdom, Innospec, makes the additive.”

OECD Guidelines to Multinational Enterprise

As well as presenting the case to the Nairobi meeting, The LEAD Group has appealed to the OECD to take issue with Innospec. By selling TEL, Innospec is flouting OECD environmental guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

“What are you willing to do to stop Innospec’s sale of Tetra-Ethyl Lead immediately?” Gethin-Damon asked attendees at Nairobi. “With international pressure we can stop the deadly era of leaded petrol in 2011.

Let’s close the door on lead poisoning and reach for a lead safe world.”

Links to documents

Australian Contact: Elizabeth O’Brien 0431 184 933;

Kenyan Contact: Zac Gethin-Damon 0406 847 497                  ###

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