It seems that on this date in 1921 it was discovered that adding lead to gasoline would eliminate engine knock.
As it turns out added lead cannot truly celebrate 9 decades of accolades.  By 1965 is was discovered that the “safe” levels of lead added to gasoline had caused an accumulation of unsafe levels in rocks and ocean sediment.  This accumulation was so alarmingly high that between 1976 and 1986 use lead as an additive was phased out.  As a result by 1991 the concentration of lead in the bloodstream’s of Americans had fallen by 78%.
So what’s wrong with a little lead between friends? Consider that researchers have tied even small amounts of lead exposure to low IQ, aggression, attention disorders and delinquency. A University of Pittsburgh study found that between 18 and 38 percent of crime could be tied to lead exposure. Remember the New York crime wave of the 1970s and ’80s? Some researchers say it was all due to lead poisoning.
Today ethanol (aka ethyl alcohol) has largely taken the place of lead.  So I have to ask.  Since the dangers of lead were known in 1921 might the harmful effects of lead been avoided were it not for prohibition?
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One Response to “Anniversary of the Anti-Knock”

  1. Richard Says:

    Great page on Subs.. my brother was an FTB1(SS) and a Blue Nose as well (SSBN-609)… but I need to let you know something off-line.. please email me back about one of your documents.. thanks.

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