A new study by the American Lung Association has given us a reason to love eco friendly cars beyond their being good for the environment: they also cut down on asthma attacks, respiratory problems, heart attacks, and billions of dollars in healthcare and environmental damage costs.
What’s our current state of air pollution
While we always think of zero emissions vehicles like the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt as being good for our environment, we rarely think that widespread adoption of these types of cars would be good for our health. But take a moment and think about all of the CO2 and smog that is emitted into the air from cars and trucks on the road all day, and how it eventually that comes into contact with our bodies.
The fact is, studies by the EPA show that since 1750 the amount of CO2, CH4 and N20 released into the air has increased by over 36%, 148% and 18%, respectively – and it is primarily due to humans.
How air pollution affects our health
Due to much higher populations and therefore more drivers, emissions in cities are also much higher, and air pollution is created as a ‘dome’ in those regions. All of this air pollution is bad for our health, and contributes to asthma, other respiratory problems, and premature deaths. Don’t take my word for it – watch this quick video for the facts from a Stanford researcher, Professor Mark Jacobson:
Clean air saves lives and money
The report produced by the American Lung Association, called The Road to Clean Air, states that California could save $7.2 billion per year in health and societal costs and reduce the occurrence of health problems like asthma by 70% if California’s vehicle fleet is swapped out for eco friendly cars by 2025.
The timeline is aggressive, but the number of zero emissions cars which have already been released in the past two years, and that are on track to be released in the coming 18 months, is growing steadily. However, there still need to be restrictions put in place to reduce the number of pollution emitting vehicles on the roads – this is where the American Lung Association’s Advanced Clean Car standards come in.
Advanced Clean Car standards
This program is designed to link existing clean vehicle programs, and make a strong push towards zero emissions. The Advanced Clean Car standards are currently made up of a collective of the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV III) Program, the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program, and the Pavley Standards Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although the program is only focused in California, it is setting a great example for the rest of the country, and leading the way to legislation that will limit the amount of emissions a car can produce in California.
Driving an eco friendly car is good for your health
If rising gas prices weren’t already a good enough reason, consider an eco friendly car for your next vehicle – preferably one that produces zero emissions. Our environment, and our bodies, will thank you.