Could EV Adoption Reduce Deaths Caused by Air Pollution?

Switching to electric vehicles could save millions of lives and inject trillions into the US healthcare system by 2050, says the American Lung Association

Every year, a staggering 8.8 million people meet premature deaths due to air pollution, as revealed by the American Lung Association. The consequences are dire, ranging from nagging coughs to exacerbation of existing health conditions. Particulate matter from conventional vehicles infiltrates our bodies, wreaking havoc on the cardiovascular system. This toxic influx significantly ups the risk of heart attacks and strokes, besides posing threats to pregnant women and their unborn children.

Curbing the crisis: The impact on children

Especially vulnerable are our children, who face a lifetime of health issues due to air pollution. In congested urban areas or poorly ventilated homes, the air they breathe could spell disaster. 

Research indicates that exposure to pollutants dramatically heightens the likelihood of respiratory problems, compromises lung function, and exacerbates asthma. Alarming new findings even link air pollution to attention-related disorders, as pollutants weaken children's immune systems, rendering them susceptible to illnesses like pneumonia. The ripple effects extend beyond health; sick days from school disrupt learning, while parents may have to sacrifice workdays to tend to their ailing children.

Charting a healthier course with electric transport

The US Department of Energy's calculations underscore the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, emitting significantly fewer carbon emissions than their gas-guzzling counterparts. Embracing a zero-emission future could be transformative, particularly for children's well-being. The American Lung Association advocates for a swift transition: by 2035, all new car purchases should lean towards electric vehicle options, followed by a shift to zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040. Moreover, by 2035, a clean and renewable energy grid could be the norm, promising a breath of fresh air for generations to come.

“Air pollution and climate change are putting children at risk today,” said Will Barrett, the association’s Senior Director of Advocacy for Clean Air, who authored the report. “The impacts of climate change continue to intensify, and that will just add to the risks that children in the United States face as they’re growing up.”

While electric cars spearhead the charge towards cleaner transport, electric buses are also gaining traction as allies in the battle against air pollution. A report from CME Solutions showed that in 2023, the European e-bus market saw a 53% rise in registrations, with more than 42% of city buses being zero-emission (including Hydrogen). Additionally, electric scooters offer a convenient, eco-friendly alternative for short trips, with over 80% of journeys clocking in at under 10km. As communities embrace diverse forms of electric transport, the path to cleaner air and healthier lives becomes increasingly tangible.

**************

Make sure you check out the latest industry news and insights at Healthcare Digital and also sign up to our global conference series - Tech & AI LIVE 2024

**************

Healthcare Digital is a BizClik brand 

*************

Share
Share

Feature Articles

SpaceX Starlink Launch Boost for Indonesia Healthcare

As SpaceX CEO Elon Musk helps launch new satellite in Indonesia, we look at how the Starlink programme is improving healthcare provision in remote areas

J&J Targets Supplier Sustainability to Cut Healthcare GHGs

Johnson & Johnson takes collaborative approach to tackling the problem of carbon emissions in the global healthcare supply chain

Walgreens to Sell Over-the-Counter Opioid Overdose Drug

As Walgreens launches an own-brand opioid overdose reversal drug, we take a look at the role of naloxone in combatting decades of US opioid deaths

McKinsey Health Institute: Focus on Health Insights Body

AstraZeneca & Celonis Map out Digital Transformation

Google DeepMind's AlphaFold 3 'is Drug Discovery Boost'