The Association of Vehicle and Machinery Import (AIVEMA) conducted a series of chemical studies that states that the gasoline the Costa Rican Oil Refinery (RECOPE) imports and distributes causes serious health problems to people and considerable damage to vehicles. The concerns are caused high content of components such as the MMT, a magnesium based chemical, benzene and lead.

The study was initiated because of an alarming number of concerns of vehicles that begin experiencing power loss, higher fuel consumption and improper functioning of the emissions,
The College of Chemical Engineers and Related Professionals (CIQPA) conducted the study, which showed the problems are due to the high concentration of MMT that is added to gasoline to increase octane.

The fuel purchased by RECOPE does not meet the standard octane levels established by the Central Framework Act so RECOPE used the MMT to increase octane, a chemical which is prohibited and regulated internationally because it highly toxic properties.

The analysis showed that fuel distributed by RECOPE has amounts of benzene and lead that exceed the permitted international.

Further it was shown that the presence of MMT is 300 and 400 ml. per liter which exceeds international standards. The recommend amount of MMT should not exceed 18 ml per liter.
RECOPE said the fuel is certified by tests performed at the company’s own quality control laboratories.

In addition, RECOPE said that no outside labs, except the Center for Electrochemistry and Chemistry (CELEQ), performed analysis to ensure that they comply with national regulations.

The report recommends RECOPE warn users of the presence of such additives that could affect the operation of vehicles, take responsibility for damage caused to the vehicles. Further to update the necessary regulations on product purchases and establish better compliance with health and environment protection policies.

In addition to RECOPE, principles in the study said other institutions like the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the Ministry of Health , the Ministry of Economy (MEIC) and the Regulatory Authority of Public Services (ARESEP) also take their share of the responsibility in terms the enforcement of regulation and compliance.

The Costa Rica news (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica