Determination of Lead Levels in Fuel Used for Vehicles in Baghdad City


The wide use of lead compounds as an engine anti-knock reflects conversely onall components of the ecosystem. This study aimed to detect the concentration oflead in various types of gasoline and gas oil that are highly consumed by vehicles.Eight fuel samples were collected from different feul stations distributed in differentdistricts of Baghdad city. These included two gas oil (diesel) stations and threestations for each type of gasoline (leaded and unleaded). Lead was extracted by themodified chemical method, and then flame atomic absorption technique was appliedto assay its concentrations. The results indicated that lead levels were withinpermitted limits (150 mg Lead L-1) recommended by the international agencies. Thehighest lead mean concentration was 105 mg/L, recorded in Latifiya leadedgasoline, whereas the lowest mean was 3.1mg/L in unleaded gasoline imported fromthe United Arab Emirate. As for gas oil, lead concentration occurred within a meanof 1.85-2.05 mg/L. The influence of some leaded gasoline improvements, octanebooster and octane plus, was estimated, which revealed sharp declines in lead meanconcentrationsto values of 1.05 and 5.2 mg/L for Latifiya and Rusafa gasoline,respectively. Furthermore, the daily lead emission was estimated for the registeredvehicles in Baghdad and revealed a high concentration of 1837.7 μg lead m-3 forprivate cars. This study proposes avoiding the addition of lead compounds to fuel, inorder to reduce its adverse effects on general health, and raising the awareness ofsociety to this problem.