The evidence for low-emission propane in transportation continues to grow
New research shows that it’s time for governments to develop a clear, affordable and practical strategy to eliminate harmful diesel emissions from our school areas. This can be done by replacing diesel school buses with ones powered by low-emission propane.
It’s been long known that diesel emissions coming from vehicles are unhealthy for those exposed to this contaminated air.
In a new study published in March entitled, School Bus Emissions, Student Health and Academic Performance, researchers from Georgia State University have found that because emissions from diesel school buses, “expose children to high levels of air pollution, retrofitting bus engines can substantially reduce this exposure”.
In fact, the research team says their study has found that after diesel refits are done, there is improvement in health, which is not surprising, but also in student performance in English and to a lesser extent, in Math. According to the study, “results suggest that engine refits can have meaningful and cost-effective impacts on health and cognitive functioning”.
While replacing old diesel engines with newer ones is a step in the right direction, it’s hardly the best solution.
The real answer is replacing diesel school buses with propane-powered buses. This would result in an immediate reduction in harmful toxins or particulate matter by 98% and would also see an improvement in student health and academic performance as diesel buses are taken out of service.
This new study adds to the research that has already been done on the connection between diesel emissions and the effect on health. It’s been shown that particulate matter has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, kidney disease and even diabetes.
With the recent decision of the Province of New Brunswick to purchase propane school buses, we are seeing progress in the expanded use of low-emission propane school buses.
The CPA will continue to push for governments to focus on the benefits of low-emission propane for transportation use for return to base vehicles including school buses.
In addition to the benefits of propane from economic and environmental perspectives, the improvement in student health is by itself, a compelling reason for immediate action.
For more information on auto propane and other school bus and fleet operators that have made the switch, check out CPA's website on auto propane.