Boosting Health For Children: New Report Reveals Transition to Electric Vehicles and Clean Power Would Prevent 27,400 Asthma Attacks in Connecticut’s Kids

American Lung Association releases report detailing health benefits for Connecticut 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 Connecticut. The transition would prevent 27,400 pediatric asthma attacks and thousands of other respiratory symptoms in Connecticut 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 Connecticut, the transition to zero-emission transportation powered by clean non-combustion energy from 2020 to 2050 would prevent up to:

  • 27,400 pediatric asthma attacks
  • 25,600 pediatric upper respiratory symptoms 
  • 17,900 pediatric lower respiratory symptoms 

“Here in Connecticut, the transportation sector is a leading source of air pollution and is the biggest source of carbon pollution that drives climate change and associated public health harms. Connecticut residents know all too well that climate change is already impacting our lungs, as we experienced during last year’s hazardous levels of air pollution from wildfire smoke.  This affects our children’s health and well-being today, and as the impacts of climate change intensify, it will impact their futures,” said Ruth Canovi, director of advocacy 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.”

In 2022, the Connecticut General Assembly passed SB4, which asked the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to assess the adoption of the California medium and heavy-duty vehicle standards for the state.  Two years later, the state continues to debate its participation in this life-saving program.  Cleaning up toxic pollution from heavy-duty trucks that drive on our highways and pollute communities across the state remains a critical public health need and the American Lung Association, along with other public health and environmental groups urge the legislature to pursue a just and equitable transition to a zero-emission transportation system.
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.

Federal and State policymakers have the power to support children’s health by cutting harmful air pollution and climate change that threatens their future. 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.

The American Lung Association will continue to urge the Connecticut policymakers to join our neighboring states and adopt California’s standards for both light-duty and medium, heavy-duty vehicles 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. The Fight for Air Climb Hartford is coming up on April 6, 2024 at Hartford21. Learn more at FightForAirClimb.org/Hartford
 

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

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