Health hazard of high lead levels to become a thing of the past in Ireland.

It was announced in December 1985 that new regulations regarding the lead levels in petrol would be introduced the following April. The United States had already been lead-free for four years, while an EEC directive would make it a requirement from 1989.

The decision is designed to improve not just the environment but the community's health.

Lead was added to petrol to make car engines more efficient, but modern engines had a higher compression and could do without it. There would be health benefits to the public, as studies had shown that lead caused a lower IQ among children in city areas. As environmental scientist Roxanne Richardson explains,

Children are more hyperactive with the higher lead levels, and in fact if you medically reduce their lead levels, the hyperactivity totally disappears.

The motor trade welcomed the decision.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 3 December 1985. The reporter is Conor Fennell.