Public awareness campaign reveals risk of lead fuel to children living near Reid-Hillview airport – CBS San Francisco

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – Raising public awareness of the dangerous combination of leaded jet fuel at San Jose’s Reid-Hillview Airport and children living nearby was the target of an outreach and campaign campaign. new education in Santa Clara County.

“The privileged are still flying their planes. The difference is that their children are not exposed to this toxin,” said Maria Reyes, a spokeswoman for the Cassell Neighborhood Association.

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Reyes said she hopes the county’s education campaign is just the first step toward closing the airport for good.

“I feel that our community needs to eliminate this danger,” she said.

County officials are trying to speed up plans to close the airport after a study of 13,000 children living near Reid-Hillview found their blood lead levels to be elevated.

Supervisor Cindy Chavez said even the county’s recent ban on leaded fuel at the airport did not completely reduce the risk of lead contamination from small jet fuel.

“People can still buy leaded fuel and bring it to the site and they are doing it. And when people fly in from other airports, they don’t necessarily have unleaded fuel in their tanks,” said Supervisor Chavez.

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However, pilots and airport business owners say they have tried to be good neighbours.

“Pilots, we don’t like lead either,” said Walter Gyger, owner of Tradewinds Aviation.

Gyger says the airport even before the county ban started shipping unleaded fuel from the midwest. He said the FAA would take federal action to get the entire small plane industry to switch to unleaded fuel.

“Potential customers leave our operations as soon as possible. The reality is that the industry still doesn’t have fuel available for all aircraft,” he said.

The Board of Supervisors is planning to vote to hire a company to conduct education and outreach campaigns. It will involve going door to door to educate people in multiple languages ​​about the dangers of lead poisoning.

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“I think we need to continue to campaign for airport closures because that’s what we’ve been hearing from the community,” said Andrea Portillo, a spokeswoman for community advocacy organization Somos Mayfair. Public awareness campaign reveals risk of lead fuel to children living near Reid-Hillview airport – CBS San Francisco

Dustin Huang

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