Yale University recently published a study entitled, Children’s Exposure to Diesel Engine Exhaust – Important Facts For Consideration that took a look at how much our kids are exposed to diesel engine exhaust. Diesel exhaust is a nasty combination of over 40 toxic chemicals that have been linked to lung cancer, inflammation of the airways, airway constriction, asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic cough, chest tightness, wheezing and increased susceptibility to infections. Shockily, the Yale University study found that children who ride a school bus are exposed to up to 15 times more diesel engine exhaust than average.
Why? Researchers estimate that this increased exposure is due to the idling and queuing of school buses. In other words, as school buses line up and wait in front of your child’s school, they are filling up with harmful particulate pollution that will stay with him throughout his ride.
That’s bad news for the 24 million American children who ride a school bus each day. Has your child's school banned bus idling? If they haven't, check out the US Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus program for information and resources to help your school put a policy in place.