Phase Out of Leaded Gasoline

Phase Out of Leaded Gasoline

The Clean Air Act of 1970 gave the government the power to better regulate gasoline. In 1973, the EPA mandated the production of unleaded gasoline as a means of protecting catalytic converters, devices used to limit the pollutant emissions of automobiles. (Leaded gasoline proved completely incompatible with the devices.)  The phase out of leaded gasoline didn’t begin until 1976, with further reductions in 1985 and 1986. The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act required the complete elimination of lead from gasoline by 1996.

Cry Wolf Quotes

You could wake up with egg on your face if you force a double cost on the consumer.

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Malcolm McDuffle, president of Mohawk Petroleum. The Los Angeles Times.

[A level of 10 micrograms per 100 milliliters of blood is] absolutely safe…There is no national health crisis with regard to lead.

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Werner T. Meyer, president of the Lead Industries Association. The New York Times.

[Removing lead from gasoline] threatens the jobs of the 14 million Americans directly dependent and the 29 million Americans indirectly dependent on the petrochemical industry for employment.

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Statement by the petrochemical industry--led by Du Pont, Monsanto and Dow, The Nation.

the essential thing necessary to safely handle [tetraethyl lead] was careful discipline of our men…[tetraethyl lead] becomes dangerous due to carelessness of the men in handling it.

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Thomas Midgley Jr. vice president of General Motors. 1920s.

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

The Secret History of Lead

This immense article is an intricately detailed history of leaded gasoline, from the industry's early cover-ups to their attempts to defeat EPA regulations.

The Removal of Lead From Gasoline: Historical and Personal Reflections

First-person historical analysis of the leaded gasoline fight.