all been behind a school bus spewing that awful black smoke.
That's because most school buses are run on diesel fuel that
hasn't yet been cleaned up. The problem is that the buses line
up nose-to-tail while waiting to pick up the kids for the trip
home. Not only does that make the air on the bus unhealthy but
it can also spread the noxious fumes through the entire school
via the school building's air intake system.
in California reveal that more than 70% of the risk of cancer
from air pollution comes from diesel exhaust.
Diesel engines emit more than 75% of the fine particles (less than 2.5 microns
in diameter) from all vehicles. (U.S. EPA).
Fine particle pollution (otherwise known as soot) from exhaust significantly
increases the risk of death from heart and lung disease, causing at least
70,000 deaths a year in U.S. (MN Pollution Control Agency).
According to the U.S. EPA, diesel exhaust aggravates asthma, emphysema, and
bronchitis. Diesel exhaust exacerbates allergies.
In Minnesota, asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism in school children.
Hospitalizations for asthma in Minnesota citizens under the age of 20 is
increasing (MN Department of Health).
buses to turn off their engines when waiting for students in
front of the school.
Increase inspection and maintenance of school buses.
Redesign parking so that school buses do not park in front of air intake
Schools can provide notice to parents about the problems
Parents can stop idling their own vehicles when picking up children
Information and Resources
of Concerned Scientists site - click on clean buses
to get involved locally
and Human Health Inc's site