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QAA Podcast

Trickle Down Episode 16: Earth's Most Destructive Organism Part 2 (Sample)

QAA Podcast
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Leaded gasoline could not have become a universally-used commercial product without an enforcer. Someone who was dedicated to protecting the status quo position that leaded gasoline was safe to use and not a threat to the general public. And that enforcer was named Dr. Robert Kehoe. In 1925 he was appointed chief medical consultant of the Ethyl Corporation and remained in the post until his retirement in 1958. Though he continued to fight for leaded gasoline after that and he lived until the 1990s.

Thomas Midgley, Jr. might be the one responsible for inventing leaded gasoline. But Robert Kehoe is the one responsible for protecting industry from uncomfortable questions about lead so that it could be used as long and widely as it was. Until the 1960s, the only studies of the use of tetraethyl lead were funded by the lead, gas, and car industries and carried out by Robert Kehoe.


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