THE CASE for LEAF BLOWER REGULATION

 

 

Across the U.S., hundreds of cities and counties have passed laws restricting or banning the use of leaf blowers.  Some places have limits on what time of day leaf blowers can be used, while others have specifically forbid gasoline-powered units. Even though different areas have different regulations, the various laws aim to improve noise and air pollution. Oftentimes, electric leaf blowerslower decibel models, or yard vacuums, can be good alternatives.

                          

California would ban the sale of new gas-powered leaf-blowers, lawnmowers and other “small off-road engines” as soon as 2024, under a bill being considered by state lawmakers. If approved, the ban would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, or as soon as the California Air Resources Board determines it is feasible. Apr. 29, 2021

 

Beaconsfield, Westmount and St. Lambert have all regulated the use of leaf blowers.

 

 

 

 

 

EXTREME NOISE

Gas powered leaf blowers create high intensity, low frequency noise that impacts nearby homes, schools and parks and disturbs wildlife..  The low frequency noise of gas blowers travels further than the noise from electric blowers, penetrating through windows and walls more readily and is not tolerated well by humans.   They can cause permanent hearing loss in 2 hours.   According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, a 25-year-old land care worker regularly exposed to occupational noise, without hearing protection, may have the same hearing as a 50-year-old who is not exposed. (Very important that no more than one blower be used on any one property.)

MORE POLLUTING THAN CARS

Gas powered leaf blowers use two-cycle and four-cycle gasoline engines which produce hazardous pollutants and fine particulates. The State of California estimates that small engines such as those in leaf blowers will overtake automobiles to become the number one source of air pollution by 2020.   Many consumer-grade blowers (and some mowers) use a two-stroke engine, which lacks an independent lubrication system, so fuel has to be mixed with oil. ... A 2011 study showed that a leaf blower emits nearly 300 times the amount of air pollutants as a pickup truck.     Continued…..

Gas leaf blowers create high levels of formaldehyde, benzine, fine particulate matter and smog forming chemicals which are known to cause dizziness, headaches, asthma attacks, heart and lung disease, cancer and dementia.  Blowers can potentially create clouds of industrial pollutants, pollens, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, dried animal feces, dust and demolition debris such as lead and asbestos.

Gas blowers are often used in parks and public spaces where many people are exposed to the dangers.

 

OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

Re-fueling spills can contaminate soil and waterways. Maintenance of gas powered leaf blowers produces toxic waste like fuel filters and contaminated air filters. Blowers erode, compact and dry out soil and harm plants, microorganisms and pollinators.  In addition to smog-forming emissions and toxic fumes, gas powered leaf blowers create CO2 emissions that contribute to the climate crisis.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.abc10.com/article/life/california-leaf-blower-ban/103-f10a4a0c-8353-4e2d-88d7-6d1b1098317e

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/more-municipalities-blowing-off-noisy-landscaping-tools-1.4695956

https://canadianaudiologist.ca/leaf-blowers-trying-to-kill-us-feature/

https://www.quietcleanpdx.org/leaf-blowers-dangers-pollution/

https://sustainability.wustl.edu/rethinking-lawn-equipment-2

https://www.vicnews.com/news/the-science-behind-why-leaf-blowers-are-so-irritating/

https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/109428.html