Mitigating climate change offers a massive public health opportunity, say researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC who carried out the first study using real-world data to quantify the real-world environmental and health benefits of electric cars. They analyzed a “natural experiment” occurring in California between 2013 and 2019 as residents transitioned to electric cars, or light-duty zero emissions vehicles. At the zip code level, for every additional 20 ZEVs per 1,000 people, asthma-related emergency visits dropped 3.2%. ZEV adoption was significantly lower in zip codes with lower levels of educational attainment. The idea that changes at the local level can improve the health of the comunity is a powerful message, says lead author Erika Garcia.

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