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Less School Bus Idling–Coming to Your School Next?

GASP recently spent a week with the Pittsburgh Gifted Center to talk about school bus idling. Students learned about the health concerns related to diesel emissions and Pennsylvania’s no idling law, and they provided fact sheets and rewards to their drivers. By educating the students and drivers about the importance of not idling, we’re better protecting the health of not only the students, but also the entire community through improved air quality.


Diesel exhaust poses a significant health risk as it can pass through the nose and throat and lodge in the lungs or enter the bloodstream, leading to increased risk for asthma attacks, lung infections, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. It can also impair the immune and nervous systems, ultimately stunting growth.

Exhaust fumes from school buses can enter buildings through open windows or doors and even pollute the air inside the buses. Idling creates worse emissions than driving because idling engines emit higher levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons. In Pennsylvania, with a few exceptions, school buses are not permitted to idle more than five minutes during a one-hour period.

GASP’s idling educational program is available to schools in cooperation with the Green & Healthy Schools Academy Green Apple Season of Service, which engages schools and communities to increase environmental awareness through service-learning project opportunities. Projects should be conducted from September 28 to November 27, 2015. To educate your school about idling or get a head start on planning, contact Jessica Tedrow at

Read about our recent diesel work in the news: “Cleaning the Air One School Bus at a Time.”

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