School Bus Pollution Poses Significant Health Risk for Kids - Highlights Added Benefit of Online Learning from Home

School Bus Pollution Poses Significant Health Risk for Kids - Highlights Added Benefit of Online Learning from Home

Children who ride school buses are exposed to five to fifteen times the amount of air toxins than the average person.  Children are often more susceptible to infections and illnesses than adults.  Their immune systems are not fully developed, leaving them more vulnerable to the effects of carcinogens.  Children also breathe at a faster rate than adults, filling their lungs with more of the harmful diesel emissions.  

In Texas, it is estimated that school buses produce the equivalent emissions of 114 passenger cars.  Across the country, 24 million students depend on buses for daily transport to and from school.  School buses in the U.S. travel 4 billion miles each year.  About 90 percent of the buses in the U.S. are diesel powered.

Many states are taking action to reduce school bus emissions.  This is not an easy task, as educational systems in most states are already in a struggle financially.  In Minnesota, steps have been taken to reduce emissions affecting the health of their young people.  Laws were put in place to reduce idling of the buses and restrict buses from parking in front of air intake vents. Other school districts have even taken to offering portions of curriculum through home online learning programs.

Clean School Bus USA partners government, business, online education, transportation and public health to strive for better school buses and cleaner air for our children.  The average bus-riding student spends 1 ½ hours on his bus each day, a significant amount of time to be exposed to the 40 identified toxins in diesel exhaust.  At least 5 of those toxins are carcinogens.

Clean School Bus USA offers a list of federal and state grants and other funds available for districts interested in making changes to improve school bus emissions.  Some of the available solutions for air quality control and school buses include add-on emission control technologies, idle reduction technologies, the use of cleaner fuels (such as biofuels), engine upgrades and equipment replacement.

How the drivers drive the buses also effects the emissions.  Training for bus drivers may be one way to help reduce emissions, but it is definitely not enough to fix the problems.  Clean School Buses is helping to replace the oldest, worst polluting buses and to upgrade equipment on others.  It is recommended that any bus manufactured before 1998 be replaced completely.  

If you are a business, educator, public official or concerned citizen, consider partnering with Clean School Bus USA for a cleaner world for our children.  And make sure you review all your child's options for online learning from the safety of home.

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