Mar 6, 2024 - News

Calculated: The drop in Utah asthma attacks if we switch to electric vehicles

Air pollution caused by a temperature inversion in Salt Lake City in January 2022. Photo: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Air pollution caused by a temperature inversion in Salt Lake City in January 2022. Photo: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Utah kids would avoid 26,100 asthma attacks by 2050 if the U.S. transitioned entirely to electric vehicles powered by renewable energy, according to new research from the American Lung Association.

Why it matters: Most Utahns live along the Wasatch Front, an area that's especially vulnerable to air pollution due to the "inversion" effect of the basin topography.

Zoom in: Children are especially vulnerable to air pollution and the effects of climate change because their bodies are still developing, and they typically spend more time outdoors than adults, per the ALA.

  • Pollution is also associated with premature birth, low birth weight and stillbirth.

How it works: Researchers used EPA and Department of Energy modeling tools to project health outcomes if all new passenger vehicles are zero-emission by 2035 and trucks by 2040.

  • It also assumes that the nation's electric grid will be powered by clean,
    renewable energy by 2035.

Worth your time: Find out about the benefits on a national scale in Axios' Joann Muller's recent report.

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