A Hazardous Ride

The creation of leaded gasoline helped propel the age of the automobile but at the cost of human health, making it one of our 100 Objects That Shaped Public Health .
Lead was added to gasoline in the 1920s to make car rides smoother, but particles emitted in car exhaust exposed the public to an elevated risk of lead poisoning. In 1965, geochemist Clair Patterson proved lead’s pervasive and deleterious presence, and by 1975 unleaded gasoline was mandatory.

Check GHN every Wednesday for an up-close look at one of the objects that made the list published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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