New evidence suggests that anti-idling advocates are on the right track in an ongoing debate over exhaust emissions from school buses.
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's John S. Kinsey and colleagues note that regulatory agencies and school districts have issued guidance or regulations limiting the idling of school buses while students are getting on and off. Those actions resulted from studies of children's exposure to airborne diesel pollutants during loading and unloading buses.
However, questions still arise on whether restarting school buses might result in higher emissions of diesel pollutants than occur during continuous idling. The new study measured diesel emissions from a limited number of school buses under both scenarios. It concluded that restarting buses would result in fewer emissions, so long as buses depart quickly after restart without any extended period of idling.
The study, "Characterization of Fine Particle and Gaseous Emissions during School Bus Idling," is scheduled for the July 15 issue of Environmental Science & Technology.
Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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