[A level of 10 micrograms per 100 milliliters of blood is] absolutely safe…There is no national health crisis with regard to lead.
Unfortunately, the atmosphere we’re now in prohibits objective scientists from coming forward. And why should they, when they would be crucified by the press, the E.P.A. and the environmentalists? . . . Our stance has been that lead from gasoline does not and has not caused health problems, and I have not seen any data that convinces me differently.
Our feeling was and still is that there is no scientific reason for not relaxing regulations. [Easing lead rules would] save billions of dollars in the balance of payments and also of million of barrels of crude oil a year.
In contrast to popularized reports, there is no persuasive evidence that low-level lead exposure is responsible for any intelligence defects.
The restrictions make us waste oil every time we make gasoline [thus forcing costs up].
[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.
In summary, epidemiologic evidence supports the position that airborne lead in the concentrations found in the general ambient atmosphere is, at most, a minor contributor to lead in blood. The increment of quantity of the airborne lead contribution even if it can be deduced, is biologically meaningless.
It would cost us more to produce high octane, unleaded fuel; it would cost the consumer more to buy it; and it would cost the country more in terms of its overall consumption of crude oil.
The people in this room have the same amount of lead in their blood as do the natives in New Guinea. If you take lead out of the air, you’ll still have it in your body.
You could wake up with egg on your face if you force a double cost on the consumer.