It's something that many of us have done every once in a while. It may come as a surprise to some, but if you've ever started your car to warm it up in the winter or cool it off with air-conditioning in the summer, technically you may have broken Massachusetts law.

It has become more and more common with the advent of car starters.

The Massachusetts Attorney General has released a new video with the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center to stress the public health risks of idling vehicles.

The video is a reminder that idling a vehicle for longer than five minutes is against the law because of environmental and human health impacts. Pollution from an idling car can enter your lungs and blood. The contaminants can cause health issues such as respiratory problems in the form of asthma and bronchitis, heart disease, cancer and premature death.

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According to a press release from the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, "illegal idling particularly impacts vulnerable populations such as children, who are more susceptible to harmful respiratory health impacts of vehicle emissions."

In addition to releasing the reminder video, the AG's office announced a way to report violators of the idling law to the state.  Step-by-step instructions detailing how to file a report are in the video.

The video clarifies that the law will be most aggressively enforced for diesel-fueled engines in commercial vehicles that are unnecessarily idling. The law does not target vehicles stuck in traffic, in hot or cold weather, or using flashing bus lights or wheelchairs.

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