The Involvement of School Buses in Enviromental Pollution

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Economists dispute about the effectiveness and the necessity to spend money on the process of the pollution regulation. The necessity to examine the quality of the environment and the effect of air pollution on humans health is extremely urgent due to the increase of the number of respiratory diseases among schoolchildren and adults. According to the research school buses support the air contamination and worsen the quality of the air. They take part in the process of air pollution by exhausting fumes in the areas near schools and in residential ones. The purpose of the article is to analyze the influence of programs that are pointed at the reduction of emissions on humans health, the efficiency of this program and the need to spend cash facilities on the technologies that monitor the negative air pollution. The focus of the study is school buses because these types of diesel contain too many toxins that provoke untimely deaths of more than 15,000 people every year. Moreover, buses are omnipresent. Their duty is to carry schoolchildren to the place where they study and they fulfill it daily. Another issue that causes concern is the age of the buses and the quantity of contaminants that they emit. In addition to this, these buses run between residential areas and they impact locally the people who are sensitive to toxic contaminants and may affect their health. The researchers indicate that the modernization of the buses contributes to the reduction in respiratory diseases and their aim was to pursue the research that would investigate the impact of retrofit programs.

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The empirical analysis was made to assess the benefits of the modernization programs and to estimate their costs. The data was used from the modernization programs of Washington State. This state was chosen because it is considered to be an innovator in the program of bus modernization. The priority analysis investigates the most common illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

To summarize the results of the research, school bus modernization should essentially reduce emissions of toxins that are associated with diesel buses and other air contaminants. The reduction of these emissions will improve significantly the health of those individuals who are at high risk of respiratory diseases. Firstly, exhaust tubes of diesel buses emit hazardous fumes that affect the entire quality of the air as well as the residential air quality in neighborhoods that are situated near schools. The bus modernization program may also reduce unfavorable respiratory health consequences for both adults who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases and children. Secondly, as the research indicates dangerous bus emissions may also concentrate in huge amounts inside the passenger cabins and in yards where schoolchildren play, modernizations should focus on the reduction of the level of children poisoning and improve the life quality of those children who are exposed to this risk.

The findings of this analysis confirm the hazardous impact of bus emissions on human health and its main contribution is that retrofit programs can improve significantly the situation. The research suggests that if the states will participate in the program of bus modernization, they not only improve the situation with respiratory illnesses but also derive social benefits. Buses are one of the cheapest and safe means of transport due to the low level of traffic accidents and the results of the investigation prove that it is possible to make them safer at a moderate price.


Timothy K.M. Beatty, Jay P. Shimshack, School buses, diesel emissions, and respiratory health, Journal of Health Economics 30 (2011): 987999.

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