Georgia School Bus Exhaust Increases Lung Cancer Risk in Children


October 22, 2010

As the weather cools and the leaves turn amber signaling the return of fall, parents and children settle into their traditional back-to-school routines. While school buses are one of the safest forms of transportation, most parents know there are still risks associated with busing accidents and pedestrian accidents as children make their way to school. Few parents contemplate that one of those risks is an increased chance of lung cancer amongst Georgia school children who ride the bus to school.

Unfortunately, most Georgia school children ride buses that lack filter systems to prevent toxic diesel fumes from contaminating the passenger cabin. One study found that a child who takes the bus to school on a daily basis from kindergarten through high school graduation may experience as much as a 4% increase in risk for developing lung cancer. Diesel exhaust contains in excess of 40 carcinogens which may impact asthma and other respiratory conditions in school children. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we represent school children who suffer bus and van transportation related injuries in the Atlanta area and throughout the State of Georgia.

This problem is particularly relevant for parents in Georgia as only 1,116 of the state's 19,000 school buses have filters or catalysts designed to reduce toxic bus fumes. While many parents recognize the potential risk of children being struck by motor vehicles or children being injured in school bus accidents, few parents contemplate toxic bus fumes as a health risk to their child while commuting to school. The Atlanta area school districts vary greatly in terms of how they have responded to this health risk to school children. The Gwinnett County Public Schools has neither modified buses to deal with the risk nor requested funding to retrofit the exhaust system of their school buses. By comparison Atlanta Public Schools previously requested and obtained a grant which was used to retrofit 373 of the school district's buses with particulate filters or diesel oxidation catalysts.

The health risks associated with school bus exhaust led bus manufacturers to correct the problem in school buses manufactured after 2007. These newer school buses are equipped with filters to trap harmful diesel exhaust. Unfortunately, many Georgia school districts are still using older model buses and have not taken steps to reduce children's exposure to the toxic exhaust fumes. Because children's bodies are growing and developing, their lungs are particularly susceptible to health risks from diesel fumes. The failure of Georgia school districts to address this health risk to our children is certainly a cause for concern. Gwinnett School District seems particularly uninterested in remedying the problem as they continue to refurbish older buses but have not been adding filter systems.

Whether your child is injured as a result of traditional causes while commuting to school, including motor vehicle accidents, busing accidents or from emerging risks like dangerous bus exhaust fumes, Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law has been helping Georgia families since 1984. Call Montlick & Associates today to see how our Georgia toxic tort attorneys can help. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

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