The last two weeks we have discussed a number of school districts changing their bus fleet from diesel fuel to propane or natural gas. This week we talk about how changing can effect absences and health.
Studies show that reducing diesel air pollution from school buses could lead to 14 million fewer student absences each year in the United States. Researchers followed 275 elementary students in the state of Washington who rode on school buses. Air pollution from 188 school buses was measured during nearly 600 trips made between 2005 and 2009.
During that time, school districts adopted cleaner fuels and better emission control measures on the buses. Use of cleaner fuels was linked to an 8 percent drop in student absences from school, and improved emission control measures were tied to a 6 percent reduction in student absence according to researchers. The study found that reduced absenteeism was especially noticeable among students with asthma.
The research concluded that the national switch to cleaner fuel and the adoption of clean air technologies lowered concentrations of airborne particles on school buses by as much as 50 percent.
Not only does this result in fewer absences, but measurable health improvements!