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No Idling! Young Lungs at Work!

In 2017 GASP, in collaboration with Trying Together (formerly the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children), launched our No Idling! Young Lungs at Work program, made possible with a grant from The Grable Foundation. The overall goals of the program were to increase awareness among Allegheny County childcare providers about air pollution’s negative impact on children’s health and to empower them to reduce pollution from one source, idling cars, by giving them the tools necessary to discourage this polluting behavior on their property.

While there is currently a law in Pennsylvania limiting the idling of heavy duty diesel vehicles, such as school and transit buses and delivery trucks, there are no laws in place to prohibit the idling of gasoline or diesel powered cars. The idling tailpipes of cars spew out the same pollutants as moving cars, and these pollutants have been linked to serious illnesses including asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer.

We have found that idling is common at childcare centers. An idling car wastes fuel (and thus money), and vehicle emissions damage human health and the environment. Through the No Idling! Young Lungs at Work program, childcare center staff learned about air quality and anti-idling issues by participating in a one-hour professional development webinar. Staff were able to earn continuing education credits by participating. Those childcare centers then received free weather resistant signage to be placed outside the facility and educational materials for distribution to parents.

To date more than 24 childcare facilities have participated in the program and/or have received signage and educational materials for their center. We hope their participation in this program will increase awareness among staff and parents and give them a greater understanding of a variety of air quality issues which will minimize children and staff’s exposure to air pollution.

We still have some signs left, so contact if you’re interested in getting one for a center near you. You can also take a look at our No Idling Pledge card and a Myth Vs. Fact handout.

Group Against Smog and Pollution