What I have come to realize as I was going through the article is that the last country to ban leaded fuel for vehicles was Algeria, which finished its reserves back in Summer 2021. Twenty years before that moment, 117 countries across the world still used leaded gas.
The point I am trying to make is that the issue is not one that is found only in the United States of America, but it is a global problem. I am not a betting person, but I would win a bet if it involved checking similar statistics on lead levels in the blood of people in the countries that have recently stopped using leaded gasoline in vehicles. The problem is there, but there may not be enough or any data to confirm it.
Now, as you might have noted after reading the article on the matter, it appears that exposure to lead in early childhood resulted in a drop in IQ. A 2.6-point drop, mind you, along with other health hazards. Again, this is a global problem, not just an American one.
Mind you, leaded gasoline was not how this fuel was first made but was something developed in the 1920s as a solution to stop engine knock. Its inventor, Thomas J. Midgley, is now considered one of history's most dangerous inventors, as he is also responsible for CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), another greenhouse gas accelerator.
Midgley worked with Charles Kettering in the Delco research laboratory, which belonged to General Motors. The solution to the knock problem was cheap, which made it attractive in the eyes of investors.
What is mind-boggling today is the fact that people were aware that lead was poisonous even back in 1920. Ironically, even Midgley himself was poisoned by lead, but that did not stop him from putting the stuff in gas and claiming to solve a problem without any downsides. The matter is explained broadly by historians in books like Deceit and Denial, as well as Lead Wars.
It is not enough just to ban something that is bad for so many people, as you need to offer alternatives, as well as to ensure you do not enrich a group of individuals from banning something that people wanted. If what I am writing about is unclear, think about the U.S. prohibition, along with Al Capone.
Fortunately, we live in the age of the Internet and the blockchain. I can only hope that the events of this century, as well as decisions made by individuals in science and in power today will not be as bad when viewed a century from now as the ones we are referring to today. As far as the last two weeks have gone, I do not think we are doing so good.