Studies of self-population in diesel school buses: Methodological issues

Jonathan Borak, Greg Sirianni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Considerable interest has focused on levels of exhaust emissions in the cabins of diesel-powered school buses and their possible adverse health effects. Significantly different policy and engineering issues would be raised if compelling evidence found that inc-cabin contamination was due to self-pollution from bus emissions, rather than ambient pollution, neighboring vehicles, and/or re-entrained road dust. We identified 19 reports from 11 studies that measured diesel exhaust particulate in the cabins of 58 school bus of various type. Studies were evaluated in light of their experimental design, their data quality, and their capacity to quantify selfpollution. Only one study had a true experimental design, comparing the same buses with and without emission controls, while four others used intentional tracers to quantify tailpipe and/or crankcase emissions. Although definitive data are still lacking, these studies suggest that currently available control technologies can nearly eliminate particulate self-pollution inside diesel school buses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-668
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental hygiene
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Diesel
  • Diesel emissions
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Exposure assessment
  • School bus
  • Tracer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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