How Electric Cars and Hybrids Affect Your Health

By: Josh Peterson, Planet Green

Karen Keczmerski/iStock
Karen Keczmerski/iStock
DCL

We're still in a pickle about this whole how-to-fuel-the-vehicles-that-shape-our-society thing, but electric cars seem to be a step in the right the direction. We still have to generate electricity for these cars, and electricity generation, for the most part, pollutes. Electric cars pollute less and that's all we can ask for until we get some of this non-polluting electricity—like wind and solar—that we've had our eyes on. Many of us have never seen an electric car, let alone driven one. We may ask, "How do electric cars affect your health?"

Advertisement

The Health Benefits

Electric cars don't burn fossil fuels. Car exhaust can damage lungs. Idling emissions can lead to respiratory illnesses—pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis, etc—and even cancer. An electric car doesn?t generate these types of emissions. Also, an electric car will never accidentally kill anyone who leaves their car running in a confined space.

Advertisement

The Health Risks

There are some who fear the electricity generated by the electric car. An article in the New York Times, takes a look at these risks. Some worry that the electromagnetic fields generated by hybrids and electric cars are unhealthy. There is some speculation that the EMFs cause leukemia in the unborn. One lady says that after driving a hybrid 200 miles a day for work, she got high blood pressure and fell asleep at the wheel three times.

Advertisement

Are the Health Risks Real?

The health risks are mostly conjecture. First, no one has proven that EMFs cause cancer. EMFs might. It's possible, but no one is really sure. Furthermore, even if some EMFs caused cancer, you'd then have to prove that the EMFs in hybrids and in electric cars cause cancer. Some people might be sensitive to EMFs, but that is an unknown factor as well. For safety's sake, pregnant women may want to consult a doctor before driving a hybrid or an electric car.

The only real health risk is crashing your car, but you don't need an electric car to do that.

Advertisement