Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Child Safety: School Bus Still Best

Experts weigh the merits of changing safety standards of school buses.

Diesel Exhaust Danger

In May 2006, two California environmental advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against Laidlaw Transit, the nation's biggest school bus contractor. The suit alleges that the company exposes children to hazardous diesel exhaust, and therefore, under California law, must warn parents and anyone riding on its buses about the danger.

The Environmental Law Foundation and Our Children's Earth Foundation, the groups who brought the suit, are not voices in the wilderness. Many public health and safety organizations, as well as government agencies, share concerns about children's exposure to diesel fumes.

Diesel engines power most school buses in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies diesel exhaust as a "likely human carcinogen," meaning that exposure to diesel fumes has been shown to increase the risk for cancercancer. The exhaust also contains tiny particles that lodge deep in the lungs when inhaled. These particles may damage the lungs and may worsen respiratory conditions such as asthmaasthma. The EPA states that children are especially vulnerable to bad health effects from breathing diesel exhaust.

Children may breathe diesel exhaust while riding inside a school bus, studies show. Researchers from the National Resources Defense Council and the University of California Berkeley tested actual school buses used to transport San Francisco school kids. They found levels of diesel fumes to be four times higher inside the buses than in cars driving in front of the buses.

Another recent study, sponsored by the California Air Resources Board, looked at several Los Angeles school buses built between 1975-2002. Levels of diesel fumes inside the buses were much higher than background levels of diesel pollution typically found in urban areas of the U.S. Older buses had the dirtiest inside air.

Reducing Diesel Emissions

The EPA is working to reduce diesel pollution by school buses in a variety of ways. One has been to strengthen emissions standards for new diesel vehicles. The agency also gives grants to help schools buy newer, cleaner buses, and to install pollution control devices on older ones. Another effort aims to discourage the practice of letting engines idle when buses are parked, such as when they are waiting to load children after school.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd