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Healthy School Environments

School Buses

A picture of school buses
Why It's Important
  • Buses idling at schools can produce concentrated diesel exhaust emissions inside and outside schools.
  • Diesel exhaust can cause lung damage when inhaled and has been identified as a likely cause of cancer.
  • The soot and gases emitted by diesel engines are associated with:
    • Acute eye, throat and bronchial irritation
    • Exacerbation of asthma and allergies
    • Potential interference with lung development in children
  • In addition to impacting human health, diesel exhaust also harms the environment by contributing to smog formation and acid rain.
What You Can Do
  • Ask if your school or community's idling practices have been assessed, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Reduce unnecessary idling by adopting an anti-idling policy for school buses, passenger vehicles and delivery trucks.
  • Use the tools on this page to engage school officials, teachers, parents and students in creating an idle reduction campaign.
  • See Component 3 of EPA's School Environmental Health Guidelines for more information.

A figure depicting a sign which reads 'No Idling Children Breathing'

EPA Region 8's toolkit includes information on running an effective idling reduction campaign at school in order to reduce student exposure to toxic vehicle exhaust. Resources are also provided to make the campaign a student-run science or community involvement project.

Find More From...

EPA and Federal Partners

Regional, State and Local Resources

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