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Fueled by the success of the new "leaded gasoline", which prevented engines from knocking, Thomas Midgley Jr., (an Ohio inventor) Midgley turned to another problem of the decade. The refrigerators of the time leaked toxic gases.(i.e., carbon dioxide) Midgley got the idea to create a stable, nonflammable, noncorrosive, and safe to breath gas: chlorofluorocarbons, or CFC's for short. The CFC's were used for everything from air conditioners to spray bottles. Half a century later, they found that they were destroying the atmosphere. The one pound of CFC's could destroy seventy thousand pounds of ozone, which is vital to protecting us from UV rays. Also, a single CFC particle is about ten thousand times more efficient at holding heat than a carbon dioxide particle. But, Midgley died long before anyone knew about this. Crippled by polio, he created a system of pulleys to turn him in bed. In 1944, he became tangled up in the cords and was strangled.

Removing the Lead From Commercial Gasoline By raider-hayden (Section 4)

Clair Patterson, with his new estimated age of the Earth, began to study lead, its effects on humans, and why there was so much of it in the atmosphere. Amazingly, almost all of the research he found was wrong or in some way misleading. For example, a doctor did an experiment involving lead in which he asked a few volunteers to consume elevated amounts of lead. He didn't test bone or blood tissue, so he incorrectly concluded that lead was not toxic since
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Source information from Wikipedia.
none of it was excreted as a waste product.

One thing Patterson discovered is that we have huge amounts of lead in the atmosphere, and since it never really goes away and simply stays put in the atmosphere, we still do today. He used samples of ice from the ice caps to measure the amount of atmospheric lead since it settles into distinct layers. Patterson found that there was very little atmospheric lead before the introduction of Midgley's tetraethyl lead additive, and after its introduction, levels of atmospheric lead began to rise.

He fought and fought to have TEL additives banned for use in gasoline, and eventually, his efforts and research led to the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the eventual removal of leaded gasoline sales from the Unites States. It was very difficult, as most companies would not provide sufficient funds, and lead industry officials repeatedly asked for Patterson to be fired. He was also excluded from research panels and groups. But he did succeed.

Unfortunately, Clair Patterson, who died in 1995, didn't get any awards or even much attention for his work. Not many people know about him. Most textbooks don't mention him, and the few that do tend to misspell his name or make other mistakes. Because of him, we now had an official age of the Earth, but it appeared to be older than the universe it was in.
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TEL (tetraethyl lead)'s chemical structure. From Wikipedia.










Now on to Chapter 11.