(WSMV) – A drop in traffic over the past few months is improving our air quality. 

The American Lung Association says transitioning to electric cars could make an even bigger impact down the road. 

“Transportation is the leading source of bad air quality and accelerating climate change. Both pollution and climate change have a number of health consequences,” Christine Hart, Healthy Air campaign manager for the American Lung Association, said. 

Christine Hart of the American Lung Association says emissions from traditional cars increase carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This can trigger breathing problems, lung cancer, and other health problems.

“For Tennessee, we see a lot of pollution in our metropolitan areas because of the number of people living here, the number of vehicles on the road,” she said.

Hart says pollution gets trapped in the air in Middle Tennessee because of the way our land is shaped.

“If we were to transition to electric cars, vehicles and buses by the year 2050, it would cause an enormous benefit financially and for our health,” Hart added.

Taking a look at the numbers, 107 premature deaths would be eliminated, 1,700 fewer asthma attacks, and more than a billion dollars could be saved on healthcare costs if we made the transition to electric in 25 years. 

Researchers say 2050 was the year picked for our area because that’s how long it would take to make the adjustments needed for all electric cars. 

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