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Lithium Batteries and Their Affect on Tesla Drivers

Tesla and EV car owners are starting to notice the long term health and safety risks of driving an electric car with Lithium Batteries.

Health and safety of owning a Tesla with a Lithium Batteries.
Tesla at charging station. Image: Shuttershock/logoboom

As Tesla and other electric vehicles are becoming more popular, drivers are starting to notice the long-term health and safety effects.

Lithium Batteries are causing health risks to drivers, causing them to opt for traditional gas-powered cars. Lithium-ion battery fires in electric vehicles are also arising causing new struggles for first responders.

The future of electric vehicles appears questionable.

EVs may be safer for the environment but are they safe for your everyday use and health? Susan Cachey, a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (or HTMA) practitioner, said EV batteries emit harmful metals. These metals include cobalt, nickel, and manganese. These types of metals can make someone exposed to them on a daily basis very sick.

Daily exposure is not safe for drivers when it comes to these metals. As a result, drivers of electric vehicles are noticing debilitating symptoms that are slowing down their everyday lives.

Drivers find that the symptoms start to go away when they use other cars that are gas-powered. Or when they are staying away from the daily use of electric vehicles.

Health Concerns for Everyday Use

A holistic influencer who goes by the user name @livingwellwithelle took to social media to share her health experience. She shared the symptoms after long-term driving in her family’s Tesla.

The shows a video of her white Tesla reading ” In 2021 I bought a Tesla, not realizing how much it would affect my health. After driving it for two and a half years, these are the symptoms I experienced.”

In her caption, she explains her symptoms and the reason for switching to an electric car. She explains that living in Georgia she has better gas prices but then she moved to Texas a more rural area where it made sense for her driving distance to buy the Tesla to save money.

Her first listed symptom was extreme fatigue. She explains in the post by saying…

Fatigue was the first symptom and it got worse over time. I would come home from grocery shopping and need to lay down in bed for 20 minutes before I could even unload the car. This was after a total of around 2 hours on the road, so at first I didn’t think anything of it. My husband and I would take frequent trips up to Atlanta and after 4+ hours on the road, we would check in to our hotel for the rest of the day and order food delivery. It was only after many long road trips with my mom in a regular car and feeling normal that I realized something was wrong.

Instagram/ @livingwellwithelle

The second symptom that she noticed was debilitating shoulder and collarbone neck pain. This symptom was not because of the lithium battery. Rather it was because of the design that can’t be altered by the passengers. She explains:

The shoulder and neck pain started about a year in and got worse after that. It was most likely caused by the shape of the seats and how much time I spent in them. The headrest is not adjustable and forces you into a forward neck posture with a curved upper back.

Instagram/ @livingwellwithelle

The third symptom on her list was nosebleeds. She explained that she never experienced this before the car. It’s also not clear what caused it either. It just happened to stop when she stopped using the vehicle.

I’ve never had nosebleeds in my entire life but suddenly had red tinged tissue after blowing my nose many times. It wasn’t severe and I initially blamed it on weather and controlled burns but they have stopped since selling the car.

Instagram/ @livingwellwithelle

She also experienced nausea…

The nausea started towards the end and would happen after longer drives. Flying in planes (high radiation) started making me nauseous as well which has never been a problem before.

Instagram/ @livingwellwithelle

Lastly, a few months before selling the car, she noticed hair loss that was only experienced by her.

The hair loss started in the last few months of owning the car and thankfully has stopped 😩 After every shower, my brush would be full of hair and would continue to shed excessively throughout the day.

Instagram/ @livingwellwithelle

Overall, these symptoms should be concerning to anyone. The influencer adds a disclaimer saying she’s not 100% sure that the car caused her symptoms. She asks if it is likely. She ends the post furthering her point that it may be as the symptoms were gone once she had sold the car which was five months ago at the time of the post.

One Instagram commenter may have answered her concern. It is still not confirmed to be true though. User @702_alex_18 replied “I actually wrote a research essay on this last week! Electric cars are horrible for you! I can nearly guarantee it’s from Lithium!”

The batteries are not the only concerns that have been a safety and health issue for Tesla drivers and riders. Another is motion sickness.

According to Daily Mail, there are growing reports of electric car drivers suffering motion sickness, dizziness, and nausea from the vehicles’ braking and acceleration systems.

“Tesla has the biggest issue in this area mostly because of the ‘one-pedal throttle.’ The way an EV pedal works in a Tesla is you can take your foot off and it will either completely stop or slow down the car. This makes it easier than switching between both pedals” Ed Kim, president and chief analyst of AutoPacific told ABC News.

Even though this helps less wear and tear on the braking system in the car it causes motion sickness. The complete starts and stops make passengers especially in the back of the vehicle feel motion sickness.

“Some passengers may experience uncomfortable pitching back and forth if the driver engages and disengages the throttle too quickly or too much, and that can lead to motion sickness for passengers,” Kim told DailyMail.com.

Another health issue that has raised concern with Tesla owners has been mold. It has formed mold in the air conditioning units. This leaves passengers with asthma-like symptoms because the mold doesn’t dry.

Mold can also leave a terrible smell when it lingers in places where it shouldn’t be. Especially in an enclosed place like a car when it can trap the smell. One commenter on @livingwellwithelle’s post said…

‘My Model Y has a horrific odor from the HVAC whenever it rains. Horrible smell for days,’ one person commented on Livingwithelle’s post. 

‘Had it serviced for it and they kept blaming the cabin filter, which was clean, almost new,’ they added, while others confirmed they had experienced the same issue.

Instagram/ @livingwellwithelle.

The Model Y is not the only Tesla to have a problem with rain. Although there have not been reports of mold in the recently released Tesla CyberTruck the truck’s metal design is causing rusting. Leaving room for improvement for all models when it comes to rainy weather.

Tesla Safety Concerns

Another problem that lithium batteries pose in cars is fires. There are far fewer fires than with a gas-powered car. The safety problem with EV batteries is that the fires are harder to put out.

In the early morning hours of August 12, 2021, in Austin Texas, this exact event happened. According to Vox Thayer Smith, a firefighter received a call that a Tesla Model X had slammed into a traffic light in a residential neighborhood before crashing into a gas pump at a Shell station.

The driver happened to be a teen who was intoxicated at the time of the accident. A car with updated technology, such as autopilot that is easy and appealing to drive for Gen-Z is not widely known to have issues blowing up in flames. But this is what happened that morning.

The driver managed to escape the car that was bursting with flames. The fire took thousands of gallons of water to put out and took around 45 minutes before the flames calmed down. Why is this?

The impact of the crash damaged many tiny cells that power the car’s battery. This triggers a chain of chemical reactions that continue to light new flames. Reports said that although the fire was put out at the gas station hours later part of the metal frame reignited in a junkyard.

Future of Tesla and EVs

For Gen-Z the Tesla has been an easy-to-drive and trendy car to own. But with the dangers of fires, safety, and health concerns put into question if electric cars will continue to be successful. Will Gen-Z engineers and manufacturing solve these problems in the future for a safer and greener ride?

Written By

Jessica is a recent graudate of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Communication Studies. Jessica enjoys books, video games, crafts, discovering new rock music to listen to.

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