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Lead in Aviation Gas

What is aviation gas?

Aviation gas (also known as 'avgas') is a fuel commonly used by small piston-engine (propeller or rotary) aircraft and is the last transportation fuel containing lead in the U.S. Lead from aviation gas emissions pollutes the air. Lead dust from these emissions can be found in neighborhoods around airports, settling on soil and other objects that people may touch.

Why is this a concern?

Lead is a toxic metal and can be especially harmful to children as their bodies are still rapidly growing. Lead poisoning can lead to lifelong learning, behavioral, reproductive, heart, and other health problems.

How can I keep my family safe?

  • Wet-wipe surfaces when cleaning
  • Wash your child's hands often; especially before eating and sleeping and after playing and using the bathroom
  • Remove shoes before entering the home
  • Cover exposed soil with grass, plants, or another ground cover like bark or gravel
  • Ask your child's doctor about a blood lead test, especially if you live near an airport that uses these aircraft

Where can I get more information?

Screen shot of aviation gas flyerView/download the infographic – Bilingual (English/Spanish) (PDF) with information about aviation gas and tips for keeping your family safe.




For questions about the Santa Clara County aviation gasoline study and blood lead testing for children, contact the Santa Clara County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at leadpoison@phd.sccgov.org or 408-992-4900.

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