No one wants their children breathing exhaust, and yet a great deal of idling takes place at schools, where buses and cars line up to drop off and pick up children. And children are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of vehicle exhaust. Consider the following:
- Children breathe 50 percent more air per pound than adults.
- Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15.
- Children’s asthma symptoms increase as a result of car exhaust.
- Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children and the cause of most school absences.
- Exposure to vehicle exhaust increases the risk of death from heart and lung disease and lung cancer.
- Because a single vehicle dropping off and picking up kids at one school puts three pounds of pollution into the air per month, stopping unnecessary vehicle idling is one relatively easy way to contribute to improved air quality and respiratory health in our communities.
If you are interested in implementing an idle-reduction program at your school or adapting it for another organization, DEQ can help with advice and consultation.
If you want to get involved in reducing idling there are several resources that DEQ helped produce: