"Exhaust, Diesel Fumes Foul Public Schoolyards Across Washington State"

"More than half a century has elapsed since the Seattle School Board — with nary a raised eyebrow, records indicate — voted to allow one of the nation's biggest and busiest highways to be built cheek-by-jowl with John Marshall Junior High, trading away the school's playground for a larger plot of land nearby."

"The John Marshall building beside Interstate 5 near Green Lake was closed for the last few years, but its doors are expected to open again to North Seattle middle schoolers in 2014. Yet now, as in 1958, school board deliberations on the renovation and opening of the school didn’t include a word about the road rushing over the kids' heads, despite a compelling body of evidence dating back decades that air pollution from highways can cause lifelong respiratory problems and asthma attacks and boost school absenteeism.

At least one school board member, Kay Smith-Blum, was alerted to the dangers at John Marshall. Locating a school beside a big road “raises public health concerns,” the director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at the University of Washington said in an email to a concerned parent, which was copied to Smith-Blum. 'Limiting children’s exposure to vehicle emissions should be a priority consideration.'"

Olivia Henry and Kate Martin report for InvestigateWest September 5, 2013.

Source: InvestigateWest, 09/06/2013