Replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar energy may reduce risks of asthma, heart attacks

Moving to wind power could have significant health benefits, particularly for regions that rely heavily on fossil fuels for electricity, according to Jonathan Buonocore, research associate at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s C-CHANGE (Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment). In a June 19, 2018 The Conversation article, he wrote that replacing coal and oil with offshore wind would reduce emissions of fine particulate matter and other pollutants, thereby lowering risks of asthma, hospitalizations, and heart attacks and, potentially, saving lives.

Buonocore cited his 2016 study on the projected benefits of a wind farm off New Jersey. He and his co-authors estimated that a 1,100-megawatt farm would reduce carbon emissions by around 2.2 million tons annually—the equivalent of taking more than 400,000 cars off the road—and save around 13 lives each year.

Wrote Buonocore, “While it may not be possible, practical or necessary to build offshore wind everywhere, even replacing a small portion of the nation’s fossil-fueled electricity will be good for everyone’s health.”

Read The Conversation article: Public Health Benefits of Adding Offshore Wind to the Grid