What is leaded gasoline?
Leaded gasoline is in the news again, prompting some to wonder what is leaded gasoline? Is there a reason why all the gas we put in our cars is called unleaded gas? These fuels are far more different than just premium versus regular. Broadway Credit will talk about why the U.S. and the world moved away from leaded gas and more. While you’re here, you can also check out our inventory of pre-owned vehicles here in Green Bay, WI, by clicking the link below.
Why is leaded gasoline bad?
You may already know that lead poisoning is bad. We avoid lead paint, and we generally try not to handle lead in an unsafe manner. Maybe you didn’t know why lead poisoning is so bad. Lead poisoning can be fatal, but even at low levels, adults can experience high blood pressure, joint pain, bad memory, headaches, stomach pain, mood disorders, and more.
The worst part about leaded gas is that, unlike even leaded paint which has long-standing bans, leaded gas disbursed the lead out of your exhaust leaving it in the air you breathe and even in the food you eat as it is deposited in soil. In fact, since the ban on leaded gasoline in automobiles in the U.S. there has been a drastic decrease in premature deaths and even violent crime both of which have been tied to lead exposure.
Why was leaded gas used at all?
The quick answer is that leaded gas became necessary to get more power out of a combustion engine. It reduced valve wear and prevented uncontrolled combustion which meant even higher compression ratios and more power.
Is leaded gas still sold?
This is actually a complicated question. You may have seen news stories recently celebrate Algeria for finally banning the sale of leaded gas in July 2021, but there are other countries that we simply do not know the status of for sure, and most if not all countries still allow its use in aviation since many piston planes still require lead in their gas for safe operation. It is an area of ongoing research, but it has sadly been a low priority until recently.