On a High Note: Better Vehicle Emissions Standards are Saving 1000s of Lives

Clean Air Act vehicle emissions standards save lives

A new study suggests that fuel emission standards for vehicles, initially put into place by the Clean Air Act, may have saved thousands of lives, thanks to their role in cutting pollution. Using epidemiological data from 2008 to 2017, researchers estimate that deaths caused by emissions-related illnesses decreased by almost a third.

While researchers were optimistic about their findings, they cautioned that the benefits of cleaner air are not felt equally. Ernan Choma, a researcher at Harvard, told Popular Science, "We know that this air pollution burden is not equally distributed. Racial and ethnic minorities…often suffer from higher exposure to air pollution, so it would be good to enact policies that would reduce these inequities."

The American Lung Association: The Electric Vehicle Solution, February 3, 2021.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Electric Vehicles - The Promise for Health and Equity, September 14, 2021.