Leaded petrol is no longer available in any country around the world, the United Nations’ Environment Program (UNEP) says.

The toxic fuel has contaminated air, dust, soil, drinking water and food crops for the better part of a century after being introduced in 1922 to improve engine performance.

It has been linked to heart disease, stroke, cancer and harmful effects on brain development.

The now complete ban on its use could prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths per year, according to the UNEP.

Most high-income countries started phasing out leaded fuel in the 1980s.

Leaded petrol was completely banned in Australia by 2002.

Australia did not completely ban leaded petrol until 2002.

Almost two decades later, Algeria became the last nation to stop selling leaded petrol in July this year.

“The successful enforcement of the ban on leaded petrol is a huge milestone for global health and our environment,” Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said.

“Overcoming a century of deaths and illnesses that affected hundreds of millions and degraded the environment worldwide, we are invigorated to change humanity’s trajectory for the better through an accelerated transition to clean vehicles and electric mobility.”

Extracted in full from: The last country has stopped selling leaded petrol (9news.com.au)