Resources

ETHANOL HISTORY

 


LEADED GASOLINE

  • Late Lessons, Early Warnings” report, Jan. 23, 2013.  See especially:  Part A – Lessons from health hazards  
  • The Ethyl Controversy, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, 1993. (pdf)   After 17 refinery workers went barking mad from lead poisoning, public health officials demanded answers from Standard Oil and General Motors. They claimed there were no alternatives, although they had patented several dozen. Brave scientists like Alice Hamilton of Harvard and Yendell Henderson of Yale stood up to the industry, demanding that the government take precautions, but they were unable to keep the profitable poison off the market.  (It was finally banned in the US in the late 1970s). Although industry blamed the media for highly sensational accounts of the disaster, a closer look shows that science writers of the 1920s were able to perform their basic responsibility under democratic theory, which was to uncover facts and present a variety of opinions. What they were not able to do was fathom the technological complexities at the base of the controversy.