Airborne Lead

EPA’s Data and Analysis of Piston-engine Aircraft Emissions of Lead at U.S. Airports​

The EPA is evaluating the air quality impact of lead emissions from aircraft using leaded aviation gasoline as described in the Federal Lead Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts and in response to petitioner’s requests.

The materials provided below describe methods to calculate airport lead inventories, fact sheets on air quality monitoring at airports, a report and fact sheet on model-extrapolated estimates of lead concentrations at airports and estimates of the number of people who live near or attend school near airports.

 Following is a list of additional documents related to the ongoing study of airborne lead at airports and the development of unleaded aviation fuel.

Fact Sheet, Final Revisions To The National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead

EPA (2008)

Fact Sheet, Revisions to Lead Ambient Air Monitoring Requirements

EPA (2010)

Fact Sheet, Decision National Ambient Air Quality Standards For Lead

EPA (2016)

Interim Guidance on Mitigating Public Risks Associated With Lead Emissions from Avgas

FAA (2013)

A Geospatial Analysis of the Effects of Aviation Gasoline on Childhood Blood Lead Levels

Environmental Health Perspectives (2011)

The Effect of Leaded Aviation Gasoline on Blood Lead in Children

Sammy Zahran, Terrence Iverson, Shawn P. McE.murry, Stephan Weiler (2017)

Selection of Airports for the Airport monitoring Study

Marion Hoyer, Meredity Pedde, EPA (2010)​

Development and Evaluation of an Air Quality Modeling Approach for Lead Emissions from Piston-Engine Aircraft Operating on Leaded Aviation Gasoline

EPA (2010)

Calculating Piston-Engine Aircraft Airport Inventories for Lead for the 2008 National Emissions Inventory 

EPA (2010)

Lead Emissions from the Use of Leaded Aviation Gasoline in the United States, Technical Support Document

EPA (2008)

Technical Note - Lead (Pb) Ambient Air Monitoring Network Design Issues

EPA (2009)

FAA Website - Aviation Gasoline

EPA Website - Regulations for Lead Emissions from Aircraft

EPA Website - Airport Lead Monitoring and Modeling

Website - EPA's 2009-2010 Lead Modeling Study at the Santa Monica Airport

Documents and Sites of Interest

Board of Supervisors Report Back on Addressing Possible Lead Pollution from Reid-Hillview Airport ​10/21/2008​

Board of Supervisors Airports Business Plan Update 12/04/2018

Board of Supervisors 11-point motion that included the study of lead​ 12/04/2018

AVGAS Facts and Future - Shell

FAA Issues Request for Unleaded Replacement for General Aviation Gasoline (Avgas) 06/10/2013


  • At the December 4th, 2018 Board of Supervisors Meeting, the Board directed Roads and Airports staff to report back with a recommended plan to analyze and address any concerns regarding airborne lead and associated concerns.  
  • At the February 11, 2020 Board of Supervisors Meeting​, the Board authorized a $250,000 contract with Mountain Data Group to complete a study of blood lead levels around Reid-Hillview and San Martin airports.

Public Comments

All public comments received regarding the perceived hazards associated with leaded aviation gasoline are provided below.

Anissa Mohler 12/02/2018

California Pilots Association 12/02/2018

    SCAPA EPA Lead Monitoring at the San Carlos Airport 04/20/2015



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