They absolutely are! School buses run on diesel fuel, which contains a variety of carcinogens and other toxic substances. As buses idle, awaiting the arrival and departure of school students, they release a dangerous amount of pollution. The exhaust from diesel fuel can trigger asthma attacks, which are common health problems in younger children. In fact, one in four children in New York City have asthma. Idling New York City buses actually produce as much pollution as nine million diesel trucks traveling from the Bronx to Staten Island. The time it takes to students to enter or exit a bus can be lengthy – 12 minutes long, as found at a NYC school. With one in four children at risk of having an asthma attack, the pollution from buses is certainly very dangerous. The link provides more information on this issue.
As the previous answer has said, they indeed are. The exhaust from the diesel fuel, which powers about “95% of more than 505,000 school buses on the U.S. roads today”, is linked with asthma, heart disease, cancer and even premature death. The article I was reading stated that recent studies found that pollution actually can concentrate inside school buses, which only increases exposure for the children riding these buses. However, the same article goes on to explain that today’s cleaner fuels and pollution controls for diesel vehicles cuts down on pollution for school buses.
There is actually a The School Bus Pollution Report Card done in 2006 that graded each state with either a A, B, C, or D for estimated tailpipe emissions of soot – and soot is the most dangerous becuase it can cause potenttial “hot spots”. Hot spots are areas of higher exposure for children near buses. Some states with a D (no states came close to getting an A) are:Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Utah, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
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