Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

1984 280GE Cabrio
255 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Someone sent me this article. It is quite interesting.

Leaded vs Unleaded
Has the truth about fuel been hidden? R. D. Greenaway
(Ceng MIMechE) thinks there’s been a cover up, and sends us the
following article, to support his view. It first appeared in a Jaguar
Drivers Club magazine in Australia, and later in a MG car club magazine.
Some of the ‘car people’ are very alert to important issues; they deserve
our thanks.

I have been asked by a couple of members about the situation with
unleaded petrol and our cars. Firstly, with the pre-alloy headed car the
octane is low enough and so the only modification needed would be to
have hardened valve seats fitted to your iron head and away you go.

However, and this applies to all pre-unleaded cars, because you have
not had a dry catalytic converter fitted to your car the exhaust gases
from your car will be unbelievably poisonous.

Let me explain.
Firstly, lead in petrol. Lead is there to enable higher-octane petrol so
that we can have more efficient engines. Lead when burnt in the engine
in the engine is subjected to 2,000 to 3,000 degrees and is actually
baked like a house brick and when the particles are emitted from the
exhaust, falls to the ground within ten to twelve feet (heavier than air).
The baked particles have been tested with various acids and particularly
stomach acid has no dissolving effects on the baked lead.
Also, it cannot be absorbed into the lungs unlike lead dust. Lead dust
does not come from car exhausts. I cannot find blood levels earlier than
1933 but the graphs from then till 1985 show a steady decline, yet lead
began to be added to petrol in 1925 and peaked in1970. You would have
thought that lead levels in blood would have risen in proportion but they
did not even hiccup on the graph. When Germany reduced lead in their
petrol, again there was no reaction in the lead level in blood samples
taken. Tests done on a little island off Scotland, without a single
combustion engine, show a much higher lead level in the population
than in tests taken in the centre of London. Much the same results
were found when New Guinea Highlanders were compared to people in
Melbourne. The actual decreases in lead levels have been traced – to
the reduced use of pewter (a lead based alloy), the gradual reduction
of lead solder in our cans of processed food and the replacement of
lead water pipes that contain our drinking water. By the way, Asian
sourced canned food still use lead solder in a number of products and
there are still plenty of lead pipes around. Where are the Greenies?
Lead was removed from petrol for one reason and one reason only, and
that was that dry catalytic converters became clogged very quickly
with lead particles and stopped working. Unfortunately the Green
Movement, back then badly informed, enthusiastically latched onto the
lead removal and, ignoring the real reason for its removal, mounted a
false emotional campaign for which we are still suffering, as more
members join and do not investigate what they are screaming for.

Unleaded petrol is a different kettle of fish and is much more dangerous
as I will proceed to prove. More than half of a litre of unleaded is not
petrol. It is actually a brew of aromatics and if witches had brewed this
cauldron, it could not be more evil. The aromatics that replace lead are
Dimethybenzene, Mesitylene, Toluene, Xylene and Benzene.

All of them are declared carcinogens and will cause leukaemia and other
cancer related illnesses. Note that I have said will – not might. I will
quote from one authority, Dr Warren, who was the adviser to the
Government at the time and warned against unleaded and was ignored:
“In fact this stuff appears to be so dangerous, potentially lethal, that
I urge you not to use it in any car not fitted with a catalytic converter.
Don’t use it in your mower, chainsaw, whipper snipper, or outboard
motor and don’t wash parts in it and if it gets on your skin, wash it off
immediately. Avoid fumes when refueling and don’t allow anyone near the
exhaust, particularly when the exhaust system is cold. Remember that
catalytic converters don’t work until they reach some 400 degrees…�

Professor Maltoni and Morando Soffritti of the institute of Oncology at
Bologna found that exposure to certain fuel additives such as Benzene,
Toluene and Xylene caused cancerous tumours when inhaled. Benzene,
in particular, was named as a powerful carcinogen that acts on many
tissues and organs. The data leaves no room for doubt that additives
are thoroughgoing highly potent carcinogens.

Roger Perry, a Professor of environmental control at London’s Imperial
College has conducted tests that show that unleaded petrol used in
cars without catalytic converters produce a great quantity of volatile
organic compounds that can be directly linked to cancer. Recently in
Britain the National Society of Clean air has removed all support for ULP.
It now turns out from information from America that the average car
fitted with anti pollution gear (both American and imports) is only clean
for approximately one year. After that the gear deteriorates rapidly
unless completely renewed. Even a single backfire while a mechanic is
tuning the car will destroy the catalytic converter. The average life
span of a cat is about 50,000 kilometres. After that it needs replacing.
A Holden cat is close to a thousand dollars and a Ford costs about two
hundred and fifty dollars. (“Top Gear� on BBC2 recently pointed this out
in a feature on MoT tests. “Cats� in the UK cost from 500 to 1000
ULP actually costs more to make so the cost to the country is greater
and it uses more oil and creates more pollution because they have to
make aromatics as well. Now another area of pollution is acid rain. It
comes from two different sources.

One is sulphur dioxide (from coal power stations) and the other is
hydrogen sulphide. Hydrogen sulphide is that rotten egg gas smell you
get from (yes, you guessed it) ULP vehicles. Even when you smell it, it
is still there. They have had acid rain in Germany for a long time, but
since the coming of ULP it has reached the stage of the top half of the

Black Forest now being dead brown.
Believe me, the Authorities will use every trick in the book, and last
year, as a good example, when two graphs were overlaid and used as
evidence in the Lead Roundtable. The lead level in blood graph that has
been in steady decline since the thirties unaffected by the increase of
lead in petrol was carefully doctored to show a four-year period from
1976 to 1980. So naturally it shows a decline and when laid over it,
looked like a reduction in lead in petrol was the reason for the decline.
That is really a dirty use of figures.

I cannot understand the authorities Ros Kelly who was the Minister and
pushed for banning lead has children, and Members of Parliament who
voted for it must have children and grandchildren too. They themselves
are breathing the same air as the rest of us. Don’t they care or don’t
they know?

Think of the pump attendant (not many now I know) but all day they
are breathing the vapours. What about the petrol tanker driver who fills
the underground tanks? He must cop a hell of a dose.

He could make a big compensation claim but it is not worth the pain and
suffering. I have just today read that in Sweden they have found
unexpectedly high levels of leukaemia in petrol station workers. And us,
we are told yes, yes, yes you can put it in your pre 1986. It won’t hurt
your car. The lack of lead will cause your bores to wear out quicker and
unless you have hardened valve seats your valves will slowly settle into
your head. Oh! and by the way, the valve seats in your beaut modern
tin box are not always the hardened variety either, but it does matter
with them because you have a “use by� date stamped on your modern
tin box. You won’t find it, it is carefully hidden, but it is there, and is
about four years after you bought it.

What do we do? First, fill your own two-stroke container with leaded
petrol and add oil. Service stations have been caught using unleaded in
their take-away two stroke containers. When you fill your outboard
tank, four-stroke mower or, anything else that has not got a catalytic
converter, make sure it is with leaded fuel. It is a hell of a lot safer.
When filling your car, try to be in such a position that the breeze is
blowing away from you. Don’t let any get on your skin. The aromatics
will absorb into your body through the pores on your skin. Don’t drive
an ULP car on short journeys! Not much choice really. Pester your
Federal MP and Senator with the facts and ask him what happens if he
or his children or grandchildren get cancer and the blame can be laid on
something we did not need which was forced on us.

E320 wagon
953 Posts
Lead in fuel

Lead was used to lube, valve guides/ seats /,,But to say it falls to the ground in some inert flake ,,,Is a bit over the top, most road ways are full of asbestos brake dust( ever notice how street dogs have odd cancers )/ carbon dust / oil ,,, mostly they get washed out to sea ,in the areas where rain fall is good ,, but dry times they will cake up and soak into the ground. lead isnt super toxic ,,, but its not corn flakes either. The other things you listed have been in fuel for many years.

380sel 81
14 Posts
lead in paint

Lead made a lot of things better, lead in paint allowed using a brush without the strokes showing. Unfortunately either fuel would be poison once everyone has a car, and they will as they are passed down cause of age. My benz needs a new engin cause it burns oil. But they could drive it another 10 years if not for smog test fail. 1981 380sel
1 - 3 of 3 Posts