In the ’80s it was seatbelts, now doctors are pushing for electric cars

Published in The Hill | Op-ed by Dr. Neelu Tummala | Mar 29, 2021

As an ear, nose and throat doctor, I see patients whose breathing is worsened by air pollution. While politics may not belong in the exam room, policy that impacts health does. I, along with thousands of other health care professionals, advocate for cleaner air because we know that every person, but especially our patients with asthma and heart disease, will be better protected if the air they breathe is cleaner, safer and healthier.

The transportation sector in the U.S. is responsible for over 55 percent of nitrogen oxides in the air, which can form ground level ozone and particulate matter, and up to 10 percent of direct particulate matter. There is no “safe level” of air pollution. The direct health burden of burning fossil fuels is why 17 medical and health organizations recently wrote an open letter to Congress urging it to support transportation policies, such as zero-emission vehicles, and expanded access to healthier mobility options, such as public transit…