TIL Thomas Midgley Jr, who helped invent leaded petrol, once poured the lead additive over his hands and inhaled its fumes to prove it was safe. He was later diagnosed with lead poisoning… for the second time.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Midgley_Jr.

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  1. I never knew that lead was added. I always thought “Unleaded gas” implied that lead was taken out of it. What was the benefit ( for the machine, obviously not humans) of adding lead to gasoline?

  2. >In 1923, Midgley took a long vacation in Miami, Florida, to cure himself of lead poisoning. He found “that my lungs have been affected and that it is necessary to drop all work and get a large supply of fresh air”.

    >On October 30, 1924, Midgley participated in a press conference to demonstrate the apparent safety of TEL, in which he poured TEL over his hands, placed a bottle of the chemical under his nose, and inhaled its vapor for 60 seconds, declaring that he could do this every day without succumbing to any problems. However, the State of New Jersey ordered the Bayway plant to be closed a few days later, and Jersey Standard was forbidden to manufacture TEL again without state permission.

    >Midgley would later have to take leave of absence from work after being diagnosed with lead poisoning.

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