General Motors, Standard Oil and DuPont earned billions of dollars from the sale of gasoline. They sold leaded gasoline, which is now banned in many countries around the world. Modern drivers use unleaded gasoline.
Tetraethyl lead or the history of leaded gasoline
Low-quality gasoline presents engine designers with one nuisance: when compressed, it can explode. Quality gasoline with a high octane number obtained from the distillation of oil does not present such surprises. This is unleaded gasoline. It is characterized by high purification from unnecessary impurities. But such gasoline is very expensive and difficult to obtain. It is not profitable for the oil companies themselves.
In 1921, chemists at General Motors figured out how to dramatically improve the quality of cheap gasoline. To do this, you just need to add one substance to it - an organometallic compound of lead, tetraethyl lead. It is extremely poisonous: even a small amount can confine a person to a wheelchair. Business sharks achieved their goal - leaded gasoline became a popular fuel and was imported to many countries around the world.
The exhaust fumes from cars that have been fueled with leaded gasoline contain lead. This heavy metal is not excreted from the body and is capable of accumulating, provoking the appearance of serious diseases, although the oil giants tried to convince the ordinary consumer in every possible way that their products were safe.
Despite the fact that this substance is dangerous to humans, it began to be produced on a huge scale. The factories poisoned the entire country: at that time, the level of lead in the blood of US residents was several times higher than the norm, and numerous deaths of factory workers were attributed to accidents. Harmful production was stopped only in 1978.
Today, the harm of leaded gasoline is beyond doubt. You will no longer find it at gas stations, since it is banned in many countries at the state level. There is no need to worry about the fact that leaded gasoline may be poured into the tank of your car. And the information about the prohibition of refueling with this fuel in the vehicle operating instructions has no serious grounds.
The developed countries of the world began to switch to a more environmentally friendly fuel: gasoline with the addition of ethyl alcohol. This alcohol, when decomposed, forms harmless products: water and carbon dioxide. He is unable, unlike the same lead, to accumulate in the body.
Today, the world's leading oil companies are inventing new environmentally friendly fuels. All motorists can only hope that they will be really harmless to the human body.