Health and Wellness

It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air

No Idle Zone – Children Breathing Here

Parents who idle their cars while dropping off and picking up their children at school probably aren’t aware that they may be putting their children at serious health risk. With an “Idle Free Schools” campaign, The Ewing Green Team is asking parents to help keep kids healthy by turning off their car engines. Vehicle emissions are a major cause of air pollution, which contributes to increased rates of asthma, cancer, and other respiratory ailments. Kids are exposed to some of the most excessive exhaust fumes in their daily trips to and from school. A February 2001 study, No Breathing in the Aisles, by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Coalition for Clean Air found that “children who ride a diesel school bus may be exposed to up to four times more toxic diesel exhaust than someone traveling in a car directly in front of it. The study found that excess exhaust levels on school buses were 23 to 46 times higher than levels considered to be a significant cancer risk according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and federal guidelines.”

To reduce this health risk the Ewing Green Team is challenging parents to turn off their cars. When students come home from school shortly, they will hand their parents a card to sign, pledging not to idle any car they drive.

Check out our new video from the Good Choices Fairy to view our brief message to kids about the dangers of idling.

The health of our kids rests on all of our shoulders. It is estimated that in just one month, the average driver picking up and dropping off their child generates three pounds of emissions. Just by turning off the ignition, we can make a huge difference in the quality of air we breathe. So let us all take the pledge to turn our engines off.

Did You Know?

  • Idling more than 3 minutes is against the law in NJ.
  • Vehicles that idle 10 minutes per day waste more than 29 gallons of fuel each year. Do the math.  At $3.50 per gallon, that’s over $101 wasted per year.  Source EPA
  • Exposure to your vehicle’s exhaust is much higher inside your vehicle than outside and is especially true when the car is idling.  So if you are sitting idling in your car in a line at your Bank’s drive up teller or drive thru whatever, Turn It Off!
  • Only 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than turning the engine on and off.
  • An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per  hour. NJDEP
  • The best way to warm a vehicle is to drive it. NJDEP
  • Diesel exhaust is a likely human carcinogen, containing fine particles commonly called “soot”. NJDEP
  • Exhaust emissions worsen asthma, bronchitis, and existing allergies. NJDEP
  • Children breathe up to 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults, making them more susceptible to both acute and chronic respiratory problems like asthma. NJDEP

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