The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose a near-total ban on leaded gasoline to take effect in 1986 or 1987, and is promoting programs to limit the impact of fuel-switching (misfueling) i.e. the improper use of leaded fuel in cars that should use unleaded. This article considers what effect the new rules have on the average motorist and if the ban will hurt a vintage auto? The history of leaded gasoline usage is briefly reviewed, and comments are made on EPA's review of health effects data related to lead. Although the health evidence alone might justify EPA's new proposals, a cost-benefit analysis shows large economic benefits from the ban. It is noted that using leaded fuel in a modern car designed for unleaded gasoline can be very expensive. The environmental costs of fuel-switching are also severe. The EPA ban on leaded fuel will prevent fuel-switching but it cannot undo the damage already done to catalysts by past misfueling. Solutions to the problem are discussed. Enforcement of the law prohibiting gasoline retailers from misfueling a car will be tightened. The main focus of EPA's efforts will be in pressing state and local government to check for filler-type tampering and lead in tailpipes during routine vehicle inspections. It is noted that EPA's proposals could make low-cost leaded gasoline disappear from the market but motorists with vintage cars might still be able to buy it at a price.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Consumers Union of United States, Incorporated

    256 Washington Street
    Mount Vernon, NY  United States  10550
  • Publication Date: 1984-5

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00391325
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-037 089
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 30 1984 12:00AM