The last place on Earth selling leaded gasoline for cars finally makes the switch

Originally published at: The last place on Earth selling leaded gasoline for cars finally makes the switch | Boing Boing


Hmm. My small children and I live in the flight path of a very active small plane airport. Maybe I’m going to start looking at those quiet little planes with more suspicion now.


This article gave me a sudden sense memory: when I was a kid, car exhaust smelled different… in particular, more metallic. Was it the lead, or am I retroactively applying my knowledge of the history of leaded gas to my childhood memories?


For god’s sake, don’t let them be indoctrinated by “Super Wings”; then you’ll never get them on your side about planes.

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A bit doubtful, but not impossible. Gasoline, oil cracking production techniques, ignition systems, and exhaust systems have all undergone great leaps in efficiency and technology over the last 25 years. The exhaust does smell different, in my learned opinion because cars burn fuel much better, the additives and corn alcohol have changed the fuel profile, and tighter smog laws have gradually turned into less stuff being coughed out the tailpipe.


TIL that “chemtrails” are actually kind of adjacent to a thing to worry about? :exploding_head:


Given that Rob also wrote

My favorite: lead paints are still available online, marketed as EM shielding.

I am now wondering whether the very same people who are afraid of chemtrails use lead paint to make their houses into giant tinfoil hats to live in. :see_no_evil:


It makes sense. If chemtrails are lead-based, using lead to block the lead is just good, sound alchemy.



I think the biggest difference is the engine efficiency and anti-pollution systems. Electronic injection, lambda sensors and catalytic converters are making the combustion more different.
Case in point I got a ride on a 50 year old restored double decker, with the original engine rebuilt, and the exhaust smell was totally different compared to a modern bus, not to mention the black soot it spewed when started.


The difference is catalytic converters. That’s what gives modern cars a distinctively different smell. So yes, you are correct. I get a flash of sense memory when an old car drives by because of this, and my 1974 Jeep smelled the “old way” too.

Another great example of this is asbestos. It’s still widely used in many applications in many countries and last I checked civilians can still buy it in Japan, despite it not being used in home construction any more.

I think that Wikipedia page is overstating the current science on this quite a bit. It was only ever a curious statistical correlation, no causal link was ever identified, and the more controls are applied, the weaker the effect gets. A sure sign of the effect not being real. This hypothesis is still in peoples’ minds probably because Freakonomics pushed it hard, but we now know basically everything in that book was bunk.


Remember white dog poop? Pooperidge Farm remembers!


Bill Hader Smile GIF

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Sounds like a good article!


That’s when your dog has a bone to gnaw on, I guess with not many places having butchers around anymore, a bone with fresh marrow just isn’t as common.

DIY lead-paint anti-5g masks to breathe though. The darkest grimmest shit, something Hannibal Lecter would gloatingly tell Clarice about just to wind her up, like church walls falling on old ladies.

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now you’ve gone and forced me to include my favorite example of… “Gratuitous Use of Graphics” (or GUOG)

(so this associates a colored cartoon poop icon with the english name for that color…? “…and makes you want to read the article, don’t it!?” uhm… not so much)


I would agree with this. There wasn’t a lot of lead in a gallon of gasoline, something like 5 grams, which would be consumed over something like 15-30 miles.

The main health issue was that it’s persistent in the environment and has a tendency to concentrate, so eventually all of the tiny amounts coming out of tailpipes would add up to a big problem for a lot of people.


Polka Dot


Yes, not so much!

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NASCAR was still using leaded gas up until about 2011 I think.

I sometimes wonder if they’re still using it and just claiming otherwise.

One of the reasons it’s suggested that urban farmers NOT keep chickens is that chickens will continually be eating stuff out of the soil, soil that in all cities has many times the normal amount of lead.