Boosting Health For Children: New Report Reveals Transition to Electric Vehicles and Clean Power Would Prevent 38,500 Asthma Attacks in Arizona Kids

American Lung Association releases report detailing health benefits for Arizona children of transition to zero-emission future

A new report, "Boosting Health for Children: Benefits of Zero-Emission Transportation and Electricity," released today by the American Lung Association, highlights that a widespread transition to zero-emission vehicles and electricity would dramatically improve the health of children in Arizona. The transition would prevent 38,500 pediatric asthma attacks and 62,000 of other respiratory symptoms in Arizona by 2050.

The new report is based on projected health impacts if all new passenger vehicles sold are zero-emission by 2035 and all new trucks sold are zero-emission by 2040. It also projects that the nation’s electric grid will be powered by clean, non-combustion renewable energy by 2035. Nationally, transition to zero-emission transportation powered by clean non-combustion energy would help prevent 2.79 million pediatric asthma attacks and save more than 500 infant lives by 2050.

For Arizona, the transition to zero-emission transportation powered by clean non-combustion energy from 2020 to 2050 would prevent up to:

  • 38,500 pediatric asthma attacks
  • 36,400 pediatric upper respiratory symptoms 
  • 25,600 pediatric lower respiratory symptoms 

“Here in Arizona, the transportation sector is a leading source of air pollution and are the biggest source of carbon pollution that drives climate change and associated public health harms. This affects our children’s health and wellbeing today, and as the impacts of climate change intensify, it will impact their futures,” said JoAnna Strother, Advocacy Director at the American Lung Association. “We urge our leaders to take action today to invest in the transition to zero-emission vehicles and electricity, which will improve the health of our children.”

Arizona is taking steps to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions especially in the transportation sector through federal funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Just last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Arizona will receive over $40 million as a part of the Investing in American Agenda. This will ensure a clean and healthy ride for our kids and reduce pollution from the medium and heavy-duty sector. 

According to the 2023 “State of the Air” report, nationally, more than 27 million children under age 18 live in counties that received a failing grade for unhealthy levels of at least one air pollutant. Almost 4.3 million children live in counties failing all three measures. Children with asthma and other lung diseases are at greater risk. In fact, 1.7 million children with asthma live in counties that received an F for at least one pollutant. Low-income communities and many communities of color too often bear disproportionate burdens from air pollution broadly, and transportation pollution, specifically. Kids in these communities are at greater risk.

This new report that focuses on children’s health stems from the more comprehensive March 2022 American Lung Association “Zeroing In On Healthy Air” report, which illustrates $1.2 trillion in public health benefits could be achieved through this transition to zero-emissions in the United States.

Federal and State policymakers have the power to support children’s health by cutting harmful air pollution and climate change that threatens their future. The American Lung Association is urging the Arizona policymakers to maximize federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize strong pollution limits for new cars and trucks that drive a nationwide transition to zero-emission vehicles.

Learn more and see the full report at Lung.org/EV.

Get involved and help the mission of the American Lung Association. Fight For Air Climb in Scottsdale is coming up on April 5th. Learn more at Lung.org/FightForAirClimbScottsdale

For more information, contact:

Katie Geraghty
310-359-6386
[email protected]

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