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European Union - Final Regulatory Action
Tetramethyl lead CAS number:
Date circular:

Chemical name: Plumbane, tetramethyl-

Final regulatory action has been taken for the category: Industrial

Final regulatory action: The chemical is Severely Restricted

Use or uses prohibited by the final regulatory action:

Not relevant.
All uses as an anti- knock agent in vehicles.

Use or uses that remain allowed:

The latest regulatory action provided for certain limited derogations. Member States may be allowed to continue to permit the marketing of leaded petrol containing not more than 0.15 g/L lead within their territory until 1 January 2005, provided that it can be demonstrated that a ban would result in severe socio-economic problems or would not lead to overall environmental or health benefits. Member States may also allow a derogation for small quantities of leaded petrol containing not more than 0.15 g/L lead, up to a maximum of 0.5% of total sales, for collectors' old cars.
The lead content of petrol for aircraft is not covered by the regulatory action.

Pesticide use or uses that remain allowed:

Not relevant.

The final regulatory action was based on a risk or hazard evaluation: Yes

Summary of the final regulatory action:

As from 1 January 2000, the placing on the market of leaded petrol for vehicles was banned.

The reasons for the final regulatory action were relevant to: Human health

Summary of known hazards and risks to human health:

TML has been assessed to be very acutely toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed. It may cause harm to the unborn child, and a possible risk of impaired fertility has been identified. In addition, TML is eliminated only very slowly and there is a danger of cumulative effects.
Occupational exposure to alkyllead compounds, either by inhalation or by absorption through the skin, poses particular risks. Overexposure of the general population to alkyllead may also occur during car tank refill.
Moreover, the combustion of alkyllead additive in motor fuels accounted for the major part of all lead emissions, which is also known to produce adverse effects on the health of the general population.

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to human health:

Prevention of the above listed health effects for workers and the general public.

Date of entry into force of the final regulatory action: 01/01/2000

The regulatory action entered into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities (i.e. 28/12/1998). The Member States of the European Community were required to apply the measures as from 1 January 2000.