Going to School May be Hazardous to Our Childrens’ Health

School buses are the safest form of transportation for children. Compared with cars or transit buses, school buses are involved in significantly fewer accidents, injuries, and fatalities. However, the soot pollution from older school buses may pose risks to children’s health that tarnish the image of the familiar yellow school bus. Diesel pollution has been linked to increased asthma rates, missed school days, hospitalizations, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, cancer, and even premature death. Help replace and upgrade these older school buses with cleaner, safer alternatives. Take Action Today!

School Bus Pollution Report Card 2006

The Union of Concerned Scientists has just released a new report focusing on school bus pollution in each state, efforts to address the issue, and its potential effects on child health.

  • Click here to see state grades and the full report.
  • Click here to listen to the author and other experts discuss the report’s findings (.wav).

Alliance Alert: Read the latest legislative and advocacy updates from the Clean School Bus Campaign.

Access to Activist Resources: Quick access to your state’s pollution report card. Updated FAQ about the adverse health effects of dirty diesel and new diesel cleanup technologies. Send an email to become a Clean School Bus Campaign ally, or to ask about allies in your area.

Student Central: Students, find out your state’s grade on school bus pollution and what you can do to help!

School Bus Spotlight: Making the Grade
Cleaning up school bus soot is a difficult task, but some states have made great strides, thanks in part to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus USA grant program. While no state yet merits an “A” grade for school bus pollution, here are the higher achievers:







District of Columbia 







New Jersey 

New York 





Far more needs to be done, however, even in states getting higher grades, and more federal help must be forthcoming to get the job done. Last year, 79 percent of the total number of school bus grant applications to the EPA had to be turned down due to lack of funds, and the $7.5 million represented only 17 percent of the total funds requested. Indeed, the money was short even on the 37 projects that did receive grant money, as the total requested for those projects totaled almost $11 million. The total amount requested in the over 170 grant applications totaled almost $50 million.

Protect Our Kids with Cleaner, Safer School Buses

While those yellow buses are the safest way to get our kids to school each day, millions of America’s kids are still riding aging school buses that emit unhealthy diesel exhaust. In a major victory, the transportation bill passed in 2005 included the creation of the National Clean School Bus Grant Program. In his Fiscal Year 2007 budget request, the president called for $50 million in funding for grants to clean up school buses and other polluting diesel equipment. This represents marked progress from the current, ad hoc school bus grant program that received only $7.5 million. Unfortunately, the president asked for $35 million in cuts to state air programs that help implementing key diesel cleanup programs. Please contact your senators and ask them to sign the letters supporting the administration’s full budget for School Bus and diesel emissions reductions while restoring funding for key state air quality programs.