Recently, Wednesday Journal has published residents’ letters urging the regulation or banning of gas-powered leaf blowers. I am adding my voice to theirs.
In a James Fallows article in The Atlantic, April 2019, “Get Off My Lawn: How a small group of activists (our correspondent among them) got leaf blowers banned in the nation’s capital,” he writes about the damaging noise and pollution levels caused by gas-powered leaf blowers. He cites a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the diminished hearing “largely caused by rising levels of ambient urban noise — sirens, traffic, construction, leaf blowers — which can lead to a range of disorders, from high blood pressure to depression to heart disease.”
About pollution, Fallows says a gas leaf blower is powered by two-stroke engine which is dirty and “sloshes together a mixture of gasoline and oil … then spews out as much as one-third of that fuel as an unburned aerosol.” The article goes on: “In 2017, the California Air Resources Board issued a warning [that] … by 2020, gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and similar equipment … could produce more ozone than all the millions of cars in California combined.” Fallows suggests that battery-power can replace the gas-powered blowers.
From 2015 to 2018, Fallows worked with neighbors in Washington DC and, with growing support, their efforts were realized. On Jan. 1, 2022, gas-powered leaf blowers will be illegal in our nation’s capital, as they are banned or restricted in “at least 100 U.S. cities.”
We can do it, too.
Elaine D. Johnson