It is Time to Ban Gas-powered Leaf Blowers!

Personally, I’m sick and tired of noisy leaf blowers disturbing the enjoyment of beautiful days. It has gotten to the point where one cannot keep their windows open or sit on the deck without these infernal things droning on and on well above any allowed or acceptable noise decibel. Furthermore, their exhaust fumes increases air pollution.  And when they stir up dust, pollen, and mold spores, leaf blowers aggravate the allergies in those of us who suffer from such maladies.

Do I sound pissed? Yeah, I am. Apparently I am not alone, as a number of cities and towns have proposed or passed some sort of ordinance to limit the use of gas-powered leaf-blowers within their boundaries. Here are a few disturbing facts I learned about commercial grade, gas-powered leaf blowers:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, leaf blowers typically produce at least 90 decibels of noise – exposure two hours of such noise causes permanent hearing loss.
  • Edmunds Automotive found a two-stroke commercial leaf-blower produces as many hydrocarbons emissions in 30 minutes as a F-150 pick-up truck does driving 3,887 miles!
  • The Edmunds study also showed that a gas-powered leaf-blowers two-stroke engine emitted nearly 299 times the hydrocarbons of a pickup truck and 93 times the hydrocarbons of a sedan.
  • A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency entitled, National Emissions from Lawn and Garden Equipment, indicates that gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment is a prevalent source of toxic and carcinogenic emissions.

A number of cities across the country have banned or limited the use of commercial gas-powered leaf blowers (see list below). The first to do so were Carmel and Beverly Hills, California in the mid-1970s. Examples can now be found in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Texas, and Florida, as well as many other communities in California.

While I don’t expect the EPA to do anything worthwhile under the current administration.  Hopefully more cities, including Traverse City and Tucson, will join the list below, as these mechanical beasts, gas-powered ones in particular, are quite the menace to human health and peaceful enjoyment of our homes and communities. Peace.

 Cities, towns, counties and states which ban or restrict the use of blowers include:
  • Arlington, MA
  • Aspen, CO
  • Belvedere, CA
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Beverly Hills, CA
  • Boulder, CO
  • Brookline, MA
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Carmel, CA (banned in 1975 – first city in the USA)
  • Claremont, CA
  • Del Mar, CA
  • Dobbs Ferry, NY
  • Evanston, IL
  • Foster City, CA
  • Framingham, MA
  • Hastings, NY
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Houston, Texas
  • Indian Wells, CA
  • Key West, FL
  • Laguna Beach, CA
  • Lawndale, CA
  • Los Altos, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Malibu, CA
  • Mamaroneck, NY
  • Maplewood, NJ
  • Menlo Park, CA
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Montclair, NJ
  • New Rochelle, NY
  • Oyster Bay, NY
  • Palm Beach, FL
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Pelham Manor, NY
  • Pelham, NY
  • Portland, OR
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Rye, NY
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Scarsdale, NY
  • Scottsdale, AR
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Tiburon, CA
  • Toronto, ON
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Westchester County, NY
  • West Hollywood, CA
  • White Plains, NY
  • Winnetka, IL
  • Yonkers, NY



This entry was posted in Advocacy, Alternative energy, environment, health, landscape architecture, nature, peace, planning, pollution, product design, seasons, Statistics, sustainability, technology. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to It is Time to Ban Gas-powered Leaf Blowers!

  1. I’d ban most leaf-blower use, as well as all the gas-powered ones. I see much waste and damage from the blowing itself, regardless of fuel source. People using them on wet leaves. Use where much topsoil is also blown away. People using them to clear snow off pavement and car roofs! One motive for their use is sheer laziness – with NO experimental verification that leaf-blowers take less time to do the job. Doing the job includes confining the chore to what must be done, minimizing collateral damage like topsoil loss or blowing leaves where you don’t actually want them. Another motivation is showing how macho the human operator is; unfortunately a lot of leaf-blowing is done by male employees from Latin-American cultural backgrounds which put big stock in machismo.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mark Povall says:

    This is good news. Personally I cannot stand these machines, and very often the material being blown goes to the “other side” – into someone else’s place!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Leaf Blowers | the noise curmudgeon

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