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Science

Results are in: Electric cars are making big improvements to people's health

They’re great for people and the planet.

electric cars, ev, asthma
via Pixabay

An EV owner charges his car.

Most of the time, when people tout the positive environmental impact of electric vehicles, they talk about how EVs are an excellent way for people to reduce their carbon footprints. Electric cars are responsible for less greenhouse gas production than traditional combustion engines.

But a new study from the University of Southern California has found that EVs are also great for creating healthier communities in California. A team of researchers from the university recently released a report that found EVs reduce air pollution and asthma-related emergency room visits.

Currently, nearly 2.9 million adults in California suffer from asthma.


“When we think about the actions related to climate change, often it’s on a global level,” lead author Erika Garcia, Ph.D., MPH, said in a statement. “But the idea that changes being made at the local level can improve the health of your own community could be a powerful message to the public and to policy makers.”

To see if EV adoption lowered air pollution, they compared the number of vehicles registered in California zip codes between 2013 and 2019 with the frequency of asthma-related emergency room visits. Over this period, the number of EVs in the state increased from 1.4 to a still-modest 14.7 cars per 1,000. California was the perfect place to track pollution improvements related to EV purchases because studies show that the state is about five years ahead of the rest of the country regarding EV adoption.

In 2022, EVs were nearly 16% of new light-duty vehicles sold in California.

The study found that for every 20 cars per 1,000 residents in a given zip code, the number of asthma-related ER visits decreased by 3.2%. Therefore, by increasing the number of people who drive EVs, we can lower the number who suffer from asthma.

The study also makes the case that more EV vehicles are needed in low-income neighborhoods to improve public health. EVs are more prevalent in affluent areas, which already have lower rates of air pollution than in low-income areas. However, California is already working to reduce this gap by providing low- to moderate-income Californians rebates for purchasing electric vehicles.

los angeles smog, california ev, downtown los angeles

A smoggy day in Los Angeles, California.

via Pixabay

Starting on March 1, people with low-to-moderate incomes are eligible for rebates of $7,000 for a fuel-cell electric vehicle, $4,500 for a battery electric vehicle and $3,500 for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

The good news from the study gives people another compelling reason to switch to EVs. They’re great for the planet and good for public health, too. Further, EVs are a win for the health system because fewer visits to the ER lowers health costs for everyone.

“The impacts of climate change on health can be challenging to talk about because they can feel very scary,” Sandrah Eckel, Ph.D., an associate professor of population and public health sciences at the Keck School of Medicine, and the study’s lead author said in a statement. “We’re excited about shifting the conversation towards climate change mitigation and adaptation, and these results suggest that transitioning to [EVs] is a key piece of that.”

A pitbull stares at the window, looking for the mailman.


Dogs are naturally driven by a sense of purpose and a need for belonging, which are all part of their instinctual pack behavior. When a dog has a job to do, it taps into its needs for structure, purpose, and the feeling of contributing to its pack, which in a domestic setting translates to its human family.

But let’s be honest: In a traditional domestic setting, dogs have fewer chores they can do as they would on a farm or as part of a rescue unit. A doggy mom in Vancouver Island, Canada had fun with her dog’s purposeful uselessness by sharing the 5 “chores” her pitbull-Lab mix does around the house.

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8 nontraditional empathy cards that are unlike any you've ever seen. They're perfect!

Because sincerity and real talk are important during times of medical crisis.

True compassion.

When someone you know gets seriously ill, it's not always easy to come up with the right words to say or to find the right card to give.

Emily McDowell — a former ad agency creative director and the woman behind the Los Angeles-based greeting card and textile company Emily McDowell Studio — knew all too well what it was like to be on the receiving end of uncomfortable sentiments.

At the age of 24, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma. She went into remission after nine months of chemo and has remained cancer-free since, but she received her fair share of misplaced, but well-meaning, wishes before that.

On her webpage introducing the awesome cards you're about to see, she shared,

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After persevering through numerous medical conditions and surgeries in her own life, Elman realized a few years ago that body positivity wasn't just about size or weight. Things like scars, birthmarks, and anything else that makes us feel different of self-conscious have to be a part of the conversation, and she tries to make the movement accessible to everyone.

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via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

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