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School Buses and Healthy Schools

On this page:

Idle Free Schools Toolkit

sign says no idling children breathingEPA's toolkit addresses how to manage an effective idling reduction campaign to reduce student exposure to toxic vehicle exhaust, including making the campaign a student-run science or community involvement project.

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.

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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.

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Resources

EPA and Federal Partners

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Regional, State and Local Entities and Other Resources

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