Cincinnati Children's Blog

Report: Idling Motors Outside Schools Are Dangerous

Turning off the engines of idling cars and buses outside of schools reduces air pollutants that can be harmful to children, according to a new study led by Cincinnati Children’s.

Researchers studied outdoor air quality at four Cincinnati schools before and after the introduction of an anti-idling campaign. The campaign, conducted during the fall and winter of 2010-2011, was led by Cincinnati Children’s researcher Patrick Ryan, PhD, of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Parents and bus drivers were educated on the issue and asked to take an anti-idling pledge. Anti-idling signs were also posted near drop-off and pick-up zones at the schools.

Prior to the campaign, the air quality measurements exceeded community background levels at three of four schools. This was especially true when idling buses were present.

Following the campaign, Ryan and his team resampled the air. Particle levels dropped at two locations, but dropped the most – by 76 percent – at the school with the largest number of buses and the fewest number of students walking on foot.

Read more in The Cincinnati Enquirer. and USA Today.

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