Study Shows School Bus Pollution 'Shocking'
Pollution Found Inside Buses, but Industry Official Says Test Used Older Buses
Researcher's Perspective continued...
The finding of comparable values is "shocking," says Marshall in the
"This means that for every ton of pollution emitted by a school bus, the
cumulative mass of pollution inhaled by the 40 or so kids on that bus is
comparable to -- or in many cases larger than -- the cumulative mass inhaled by
all the other people in an urban area."
In the study, Marshall and colleagues say their numbers are averages and
that the results might not be typical of the entire school bus fleet, given the
study's small size.
Their calculations showed that "on commute days, for newer and year-1975
buses, students commuting on school buses have 34% and 70% higher intakes of
DPM than car commuters, respectively," says the study.
"The daily inhalation intake by a child of emissions from the one school
bus on which he or she commutes is between about seven and about 70 times
greater than the average daily inhalation intake by a typical South Coast
resident of emissions from all school buses," says the study.
Corr tells WebMD that the industry is working with the Union of Concerned
Scientists and is "looking for every advantage we can" to reduce school
"In addition to vehicle technology, there are many other choices out
there," he says. "The use of ultra-low sulphur fuel alone cuts
emissions. Reducing idling and the use of engine heaters for winter warming
have an immediate impact."
"As fleets acquire new equipment, they will be prioritized on the
longest routes," says Corr. "We recognize that much has to do with
school districts and what they can afford with the pressures of their