For several decades, we’ve known that diesel engines, such as those on trucks and buses, emit large quantities of particulate matter (specifically pm2.5), particularly when idling.
We also know that these fine particles penetrate deep into the lungs where they result in respiratory infections, heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, etc.
Globally, air pollution is the sixth highest risk factor for death according to a report from State of Global Air.
However, until recently, we have been unable to draw a direct causal line between emissions from school buses and the health impacts on children using those buses.
On April 10, 2023, Nature Sustainability published a report by scientists at the Universities of Michigan and Washington which used data comparing the school attendance rate for children travelling to school in new electric buses with those still travelling in existing diesel driven vehicles.
The study found that districts randomly selected for new e-buses had greater attendance improvements than unselected districts still using diesel buses, resulting in over 350,000 estimated additional student days of attendance each year among the study group.
No more excuses, it’s time that we cleaned up the air we make our children breath each day.
Zero emission school buses are real alternatives and it’s time that school boards across the country looked seriously at creating a safer environment for our children by giving them clean air to breath.
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