Environment: Lead in the Air

True or false: lead-free gasoline is the best thing to come down the freeway since the V-8 engine. True, according to the oil companies that recently switched to unleaded or low-lead fuels and are promoting them as an antipollution measure. False, from the viewpoint of the Ethyl Corp., the nation's largest producer of lead additives for gasoline.

Shell, Esso, Chevron and Amoco make ambitious claims. Esso's Big Plus is touted as "the lowest-lead, highest-octane gasoline for the money," and Chevron boasts that its F-310 fuel will "reduce fuel consumption, improve performance and cut maintenance." Ethyl Corp., which pioneered the use of lead...

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