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Air Toxics

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What You Can Do to Reduce Air Pollution Near Schools

No one wants their children breathing exhaust, and yet a great deal of idling takes place at schools, where buses and cars line up to drop off and pick up children. And children are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of vehicle exhaust. Consider the following:

  • children walking away from school busChildren breathe 50 percent more air per pound than adults.
  • Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15.
  • Children’s asthma symptoms increase as a result of car exhaust.
  • Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children and the cause of most school absences.
  • Exposure to vehicle exhaust increases the risk of death from heart and lung disease and lung cancer.

Because a single vehicle dropping off and picking up kids at one school puts three pounds of pollution into the air per month, stopping unnecessary vehicle idling is one relatively easy way to contribute to improved air quality and respiratory health in our communities.

If you are interested in implementing an idle-reduction program at your school or adapting it for another organization, DEQ can help with advice and consultation.

If you want to get involved in reducing idling there are several resources that DEQ helped produce:


  • DEQ contact: Marcia Danab, Communications & Outreach, 503-229-6488

[print version]


For more information about Air Quality call 503-229-5696

For reporting pollution problems contact Complaints

For technical assistance contact DEQINFO

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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