A long history of battles leading up to 'leaded gasoline' regulation
Leaded gasoline with lead added contains tetraethyl lead , which is a highly toxic substance, so it is regulated all over the world including Japan at the time of writing the article. Bill Covalick, a media historian at Roughford University in the United States, explained the conflict between the mass media and scientists in the 1920s and the automobile industry that warned against such leaded gasoline for nearly a century.
A century of tragedy: How the car and gas industry knew about the health risks of leaded fuel but sold it for 100 years anyway
The reason why cars running on leaded gasoline appeared was when American automobile giant General Motors (GM) tested gasoline mixed with tetraethyl lead in December 1921, and the engine output increased and sounded. Is also quiet. GM, who expected this discovery to be of great profit, marketed gasoline with tetraethyl lead added as 'ethyl' as an automobile fuel.
However, the mass production and sale of 'ethyl' by GM will lead to serious problems that threaten human life and health, such as accidents that killed many workers and environmental pollution. Read the article below to find out how leaded gasoline came to the market.
Why did General Motors put deadly lead in gasoline? --GIGAZINE
The automobile and oil industry at the time showed an aggressive stance toward the media dealing with the damage caused by leaded gasoline. In 1924, an accident occurred at a leaded gasoline factory of Standard Oil, an American oil company, killing six people, and when more than a dozen workers were taken to a hospital due to delusions, the company said. 'I don't know what happened,' he claimed. He urged the media, 'For the public good, we shouldn't talk about this issue anymore.'
But by 1925, many articles about leaded gasoline began to appear on the paper. The New York World, a daily newspaper published in New York at the time, interviewed Yale University toxic gas expert Yandell Henderson and GM ethyl researcher Thomas Midgray about the toxicity of leaded gasoline. The we. In it, GM Midgray insisted that 'leaded gasoline is the only way to increase fuel output,' while Henderson said, '30 tonnes of lead and dust are mixed every year on Fifth Avenue in New York.' It will be raining and it will start to rain. '
Automobile industry officials were angry at the article about the claims of the two experts. GM's public relations material released in 1948 described the New York World article as 'a campaign against the sale of our antiknock-containing gasoline.' In addition, GM is 'media is a leaded gasoline' loony , but he called the gas (crazy gasoline), '' You are, in fact to the factory workers themselves had to receive first the most damage of leaded gasoline It seems that it is the word used by.
While GM and Standard Oil have argued for the safety of leaded gasoline, public health scholars have challenged the need for leaded gasoline, but public health officials in the United States have ignored scientists' opinions. In 1926, he published the view that 'there is no good reason to regulate leaded gasoline.'
With the closure of leaded gasoline regulations, leaded gasoline continues to be used around the world with many problems. WHO says that the continued use of leaded gasoline for decades has resulted in more than 1.2 million premature deaths, lower IQs, and about 58 million crimes per year. increase.
In the 1960s, public health issues related to leaded gasoline were revisited. Clair Patterson, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, found that the presence of lead from leaded gasoline made it difficult to measure lead isotopes, and in a paper published in 1965. 'Americans are chronically affected by lead,' he said.
Then, in the 1970s, environmental protection authorities in the United States reported that 'leaded gasoline will eventually clog automobile catalytic converters and cause air pollution, so leaded gasoline must be banned eventually.' In addition, leaded in the 1970s and 1980s, when Herbert Needleman, a pediatrician at the University of Pittsburgh, said, 'Lead poisoning in children causes lower IQ and other developmental disabilities.' Concerns about gasoline have grown even higher.
The industry bashed Patterson and Needleman that they were 'doing fraudulent research,' but in 1996 U.S. public health officials finally officially banned the sale of leaded gasoline. This was followed by the EU and other countries. Then, in August 2021, Algeria, which was the last seller of leaded gasoline in the world, banned leaded gasoline, ending the 100-year history of leaded gasoline.
'The case of leaded gasoline speaks of how serious and long-term damage can be caused if regulations on profit-focused industries fail,' said Kovalik. Is essential for people's public health awareness and active media coverage of health and environmental issues. '
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