Passer aux véhicules électriques serait fantastique pour la santé des enfants

Adopting electric vehicles would be wonderful for children’s health.

In an era where ecological transition takes a central place in global debates, the massive adoption of electric vehicles presents itself as a promising solution for reducing emissions of air pollutants. According to a recent report from the American Lung Association, this mutation could prove particularly beneficial for children’s health, often more vulnerable to air quality problems.

The report’s projections, based on a scenario where all new vehicles sold by 2035 would be emissions-free, indicate a possible significant reduction in various respiratory conditions among children. In detail, we are talking about a reduction of 2.7 million cases of asthma, and this is only the beginning. The positive influence would also encompass 147,000 cases of acute bronchitis avoided and a notable reduction in symptoms affecting the upper and lower respiratory tract. Even more impressive, this transformation would have the potential to prevent up to 508 child deaths.

These alarming figures highlight the increased sensitivity of children to air pollution, a vulnerability due in particular to their lungs which continue to develop. Laura Kate Bender of the American Lung Association highlights the critical importance of viewing the shift to electric vehicles through the lens of child health, illustrating his point with personal experiences related to asthma.

But this transition is not without challenges. While demand for electric vehicles is growing, it is being held back by considerations such as high cost, and uncertainties about the reliability and availability of charging infrastructure. Despite this, sales of electric vehicles show steady growth, representing just over 8% of total vehicle sales in 2023.

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These efforts are part of a broader context of the fight against climate change, where combustion engine cars are among the largest contributors to global emissions. Successfully making this transition also requires tackling the challenge of electricity supply, as health benefits are maximized when electric vehicles are powered by a grid free of fossil fuels.

The approach to completely electrifying the vehicle fleet in the United States by 2050, consistent with the goal of net zero emissions set by President Biden, involves interrupting the sale of gasoline vehicles around 2035. This horizon, although crucial for public health and especially that of children, requires a proactive policy, accompanied by concrete measures to facilitate this transition, despite the reluctance and pressures of the various sectors concerned.

Through this report, the American Lung Association hopes to sound the alarm and encourage policymakers to adopt stricter vehicle emissions policies for the benefit of public health and environmental protection. In doing so, even if gasoline cars continue to be produced, they are expected to be significantly cleaner, providing a path to real environmental and health progress.