In Canada, air pollution causes more than 15,000 premature deaths each year, including 6,000 in Ontario, and 3,000 in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, where transportation is the largest source of air pollution. Canadian research has shown that marginalized socio-economic groups are disproportionately exposed to traffic-related air pollution. Residents who face socio-economic barriers are also likely to be more vulnerable to the impacts of this pollution, as they face other health inequities correlated with socio-economic status. The current push for electric vehicles by federal, provincial and municipal governments presents an opportunity to drastically reduce air pollution from traffic sources, leading to health, social and climate change benefits. However, strengthening and accelerating policies to electrify cars, SUVs and public transit buses, along with updating truck fleets is needed to realize these benefits.
This webinar will:
- Discuss health effects of Traffic-Related Air Pollution (TRAP)
- Discuss health and environmental benefits of upgrading and electrifying transportation
- Discuss the barriers and opportunities to increasing rates of electrification
About the speaker:
Laura Minet is an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria where she leads the Clean Air (CLAIR) lab. The group’s research is motivated by the need to improve urban air quality and minimize population exposure to air pollution to reduce the burden of air pollution on our health. The lab’s researchers use empirical and physical models to analyze changes in air quality over time, understand the influence of urban features on air quality, and evaluate the impact of urban planning policies and changing meteorological conditions on population exposure and health.
She holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto, where she was also a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences in Professor Miriam Diamond’s Environmental Research Group. Her areas of expertise include air quality, population exposure to air pollution, population health, transportation engineering, vehicle emissions and dispersion modelling.