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The United States phased out the use of leaded gasoline for automobiles in 1996, but many small aircraft continue to run on it. That’s worrying to some public health experts, because lead is a potent neurotoxicant, and leaded aviation gas is now the nation’s leading contributor to airborne lead pollution. And studies suggest that people who live near or work at airports can have elevated lead levels in their blood. As a result, for years advocates have been pushing the aviation industry to get the lead out of aviation gasoline, or avgas.