A new EPA document offers air quality strategies for schools, including ventilation and filtration, siting decisions, anti-idling policies and bus fleet upgrades.

A new EPA document offers air quality strategies for schools, including ventilation and filtration, siting decisions, anti-idling policies and bus fleet upgrades.

A new guide from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides ideas on how to reduce children’s exposure to traffic-related air pollution.

The document, “Best Practices for Reducing Near-Road Pollution Exposure at Schools,” offers strategies for limiting exposure, including ventilation and filtration, school siting and layout decisions, anti-idling policies, school bus fleet upgrades, sound walls, vegetative barriers and other initiatives.

On the school bus front, the guide recommends retrofitting older school buses with particulate matter filters or oxidation catalysts, or replacing them with newer models. Alternative fuels are also suggested as a way to reduce emissions.

“Our children are especially vulnerable to air pollution, which can damage their growing lungs,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific southwest. “This new report gives school officials and parents multiple ways to limit their students’ exposures to the pollutants from traffic.”

EPA officials said that the agency created the document in response to interest from parents, schools and public health advocates who want to help reduce traffic-related air pollution exposure.

To access the “Best Practices” document, click here.

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