School buses

From August to June, children all over the country ride on big yellow school buses. Most of those buses run on diesel fuel, and they emit clouds of exhaust that can aggravate asthma.

Meneses: “I don’t like him to have these asthma attacks. Last time he was ready to be intubated because he got one of these asthma attacks very strong.”

That’s Ivon Meneses of Nevada. Her son Jacob has asthma and although it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of an asthma attack, she says Jacob’s seems to be linked to riding the school bus.

Meneses: “During the summertime, he’s ok. He doesn’t have no asthma attacks. But when they go back to school, that’s when he starts getting his asthma attacks.”

Her son's asthma attacks seem to be linked to riding the school bus. Click To Tweet

So Meneses works with CHISPA, a Latino community organizing program. The group launched a campaign last year to replace old diesel buses with electric ones. They want the funds to come from settlement money paid by Volkswagen after the company was caught cheating on diesel emissions standards.

It may be years before each state decides how to use that money, but if CHISPA’s effort is successful, the new buses will reduce carbon pollution and help children breathe easier.

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Health