UN hails end of poisonous leaded gas use in cars worldwide

BERLIN (AP) — The U.N. environment office says Algeria has become the last country in the world to stop selling highly toxic leaded gasoline. The U.N. Environment Agency said this marks the “official end” of the use in cars of a fuel that’s been blamed for a wide range of human health problems. Petroleum containing tetraethyllead, a form of lead, was first sold almost 100 years ago to increase engine performance. It was widely used for decades until researchers discovered that it could cause heart disease, strokes and brain damage. UNEP cited studies suggesting that leaded gas caused measurable intellectual impairment in children and millions of premature deaths. Most rich nations started phasing out the fuel in the 1980s.