Did you know...
The man that invented Freon also invented leaded gasoline?
Thomas Midgley, Jr. (May 18, 1889 - November 2, 1944), was a American mechanical engineer turned chemist. He developed both the tetra-ethyl lead additive to gasoline and chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs). While lauded at the time for his discoveries today his legacy is seen as far more mixed. One historian remarked that Midgley "had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in earth history."
While working for General Motors he discovered that leaded-gasoline prevented internal combustion engines from "knocking". The difficulty is that this resulted in huge amounts of lead being added to the atmosphere causing health problems around the world. Workers producing the additive were even more greatly affected. In 1924 Midgley took a prolonged vacation from working to cure himself of lead poisoning — A fact he deliberately kept secret, holding a press conference to demonstrate the "safety" of contact with the substance
CFCs were introduced to make refrigerators safer by synthesizing chloro-fluorocarbon (CFC) compounds (also called "Freons") and substituting them for the variously poisonous or explosive substances previously used.
(He's still my hero.)