By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Automobile manufacturers are making an ever increasing number of electric vehicles (EV). Some people love them. Some people hate them. The primary purpose of the vehicles is related to climate change.

However, one may wonder what the impact of EV’s are on health. There are many health risks that have been suggested. The question is whether there is any scientific data to support those theories.

One theoretical concern is that most EV’s use lead acid based batteries. When the batteries get old, they will need to be stored somewhere. This leads to a problem with excess lead build up in those areas. The good news is that this concern has been recognized. That means that there will be approaches to minimize those risks. That means that there will be alternatives to lead acid like lithium looked at in the future.

Another theoretical risk comes from the electromagnetic fields (EMF) associated with EV’s. They are similar EMF to those found in mobile phones. Studies to this point have failed to show any effects of these EMF on health. Some studies have focused in children and adolescents with young brains and found nothing.

This continues to be an area of study. The real issue is that if EMF is found to be a safety problem, it will affect mobile phones a lot more than it will affect EV’s.

A recent review of EV’s was published on March 16, 2024. It looked at 897 medical journal articles on the topic of EV safety.

Most of those articles reached the same conclusion. The risks from EV’s are mainly theoretical. There is no proven harm that they have shown despite the numerous studies that have been done.

A number of those studies compared those theoretical risks to those posed by not using EV technology. They looked at air pollution from gas powered vehicles. The risks from that are real. They are far higher than the risks that an EV might provide.

They looked at other health risks that occur with gas powered vehicles. Those too were far greater than any risk that an EV might provide.

People will go on liking or not liking EV’s. The one thing that is relatively clear at this point is that health concerns are not one of the valid reasons for disliking them.