Thursday, December 7, 2006

Bring back lead poisoning

Think Progress

"The Bush administration is considering doing away with health standards that cut lead from gasoline, widely regarded as one of the nation's biggest clean-air accomplishments," the AP reports. "Battery makers, lead smelters, refiners all have lobbied the administration to do away with the Clean Air Act limits."

Lead is dirt cheap, and from an engine's standpoint is actually better than reformulated cleaner-emissions gasoline in terms of lubrication and anti-knock qualities.

When I worked in the Standard Oil refinery in El Segundo "Where The Sewer Meets The Sea" CA many years ago, we had tetraethyl lead gas additive by the tank-car load. It was one of the most dangerous substances in a dangerous environment. One drop could kill you.

Engines don't have that problem. Neither do batteries and paint, just people, but people's health isn't seen as contributing to the lead-using industries' bottom line, only as unwanted, unnecessary overhead, possibly capable of being overcome by greasing Repuglican palms.

We got the lead out of gasoline and paint, most fishing sinkers and shotgun shells, and nearly everything else except automotive batteries, which could do it if they wanted to.

Leave the lead out. If I want heavy-metal poisoning, I'll eat some albacore.

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