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Car ExhaustCincinnati Public Schools partners with the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Health Department to decrease air pollution around schools caused by idling vehicle engines.

The Anti-Idling Campaign aims to improve the environment and the health of students, staff and community members.

Vehicles that sit with engines idling are big contributors to air pollution. Ironically, schools are one of the places where the most unnecessary idling occurs, with buses and cars waiting to drop off and pick up students.

Read more on CPS Campaign

Why Participate?

There are two major reasons for an anti-idling campaign — health and the environment. Consider these facts from the State of Connecticut's web site:

Idling Causes Air Pollution

  • An idling vehicle spews toxic chemicals, gases and soot into the air, contributing to regional haze, acid rain and global climate change.
  • An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour.
  • Every gallon of gas burned produces more than 20 pounds of greenhouse gases.

Idling is Unhealthy

  • Breathing in exhaust can aggravate asthma, allergies and cardiovascular disease.
  • Exhaust emissions increase school absences, ER visits and even premature deaths.
  • Emissions are still present and harmful, even when you can't see the exhaust.

"Children are more sensitive to air pollution
because they breathe 50 percent more air
 per pound of body weight than adults."

Dr. Marilyn Crumpton, Medical Consultant, Cincinnati Health Department

More Information on Idling

What Are We Doing?

CPS, UC and CHD were awarded a grant to:

  • Monitor indoor and outdoor air quality (by UC investigators)
  • Select and assess the health of 25 students with asthma in each participating school (by CHD nurses)
  • Develop an anti-idling campaign (spearheaded by CPS and CHD with involvement from school communities and partners)

Four schools were selected to participate in the study based on traffic exposure. These schools include:

  1. Winton Hills — low traffic
  2. Roberts — bus traffic
  3. Hays-Porter — highway traffic
  4. Silverton — both bus and high traffic

As part of the grant, an anti-idling awareness video was created. Students from North Avondale act as guides, and the video features an original song by a SCPA student.

Campaign Efforts

Collaborating with First Student Bus Company, one of the companies providing bus service to CPS, the grant partners provided training on anti-idling for bus drivers. Drivers were asked to minimize idling and adhere to First Student's policy of not idling for more than 3 minutes.

Parents at schools participating in the grant received letters with pledge forms asking for their help by turning off their vehicles as they wait to pick up or drop off students at school.

Students are taking part in the Anti-Idling Campaign by learning about air quality and anti-idling at school throughout the year. Campaign partners are providing special assemblies to help educate students about the risks of idling and pollution and the benefits of cleaner air.

How Can You Help?

You can help by doing your part to improve air quality.

  • Watch for these signs supporting the Anti-Idling Campaign, which were provided by Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services.
  • Plan your errands efficiently and make several stops during one trip.
  • As much as possible, turn off your car instead of idling while waiting in a drive-through lane.
  • Drive to warm up your car on cold days instead of letting it sit and idle.

For more information contact
Cynthia Eghbalnia
CPS Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator
(513) 363-0107      

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