Auto Emissions

Auto Emissions

As long as automobiles have existed, they have spewed dangerous toxins into the air. The content and volume of these emissions have changed over the years. When leaded gasoline was the norm, the blood lead levels of the American population were significantly higher than they are today. Before catalytic converters, smog was an even worse problem, especially in car-heavy cities like Los Angeles. Currently, America's cars contribute to a staggering one-fifth of our nation’s carbon emissions and almost half of global automotive carbon emissions. 

Cry Wolf Quotes

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.

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Donald R. Lynam, director of air conservation at the Ethyl Corporation. The New York Times.

We might have to take drastic action such as limiting production.

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Phil Benton, VP of Sales and Marketing for Ford, Chicago Tribune.

The more efficient new cars won’t save a drop of gas until they’re purchased. If they don’t sell, not only energy conservation, but pollution and safety improvements will be set back.

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Unidentified GM Spokesman, Chicago Tribune.

In contrast to popularized reports, there is no persuasive evidence that low-level lead exposure is responsible for any intelligence defects.

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Dr. Jerome F. Cole, director of environmental health for the Lead Industries Association. The New York Times.

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

The Success of CAFE Standards

How the CAFE standard and its successes.

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.