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Idle-Free Schools Toolkit for a Healthy School Environment

What is the Idle-Free Schools Toolkit?

The Idle-Free Schools Toolkit includes information needed to run an effective idling reduction campaign at a school to reduce student exposure to toxic vehicle exhaust. The Toolkit also provides the resources to make this a student-run science or community involvement project, providing students with the opportunity to learn how to run a public service campaign while expanding their science and math skills.

Why is it bad to idle vehicles?

Idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and emit air toxins, which are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. Monitoring at schools has shown elevated levels of benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other air toxics during the afternoon hour coinciding with parents picking up their children. Children’s lungs are still developing, and when they are exposed to elevated levels of these pollutants, children have an increased risk of developing asthma, respiratory problems and other adverse health effects. Limiting a vehicle’s idling time can dramatically reduce these pollutants and children’s exposure to them.

How can the Toolkit be used at schools?

The Idle-Free Schools Toolkit includes everything a school needs to institute this simple, yet vital and effective idling reduction campaign. Schools can use all of the materials and follow the recommended schedule as written or can implement an idling reduction campaign of their own, using the materials that fit with the school’s desires and capabilities.

What tools are available?

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Who to Contact for Assistance

Marisa McPhilliamy, US EPA Region 8

This Toolkit was inspired by the following idling reduction programs: