EarthTalk: When Will Gasoline Driven Leaf Blowers Be Outlawed?


Published:

Dear EarthTalk: When will those gasoline driven leaf blowers that gardeners use be outlawed? The noise and toxic fumes they emit can’t be good for us. —Judy, via email

Those leaf blowers sure can be annoying, just for the noise alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, using a commercial-grade gas-powered leaf blower for just two hours can cause hearing damage, and repeated use is a sure recipe for permanent hearing loss. And when you factor in the air quality nuisance from the inefficient gas motors on the models commonly used by maintenance workers and landscapers everywhere, it gets personal as it becomes a serious health issue.

California’s statewide Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) reports that the best-selling commercial leaf blowers emit as much smog-forming pollution after just one hour of use as driving a 2016 Toyota Camry about 1,100 miles. CalEPA adds that landscape workers running a leaf blower are exposed to 10 times more ultra-fine particles—invisible to the naked eye but easily lodged into the lining of your lungs—than someone standing next to a busy road.

And these aren’t isolated, hyper-localized problems, as experts warn that within a couple of years, smog-creating emissions from leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other small gas-powered “off-road” motors will eclipse smog emissions from cars and trucks on the American road.

But rest assured, there are some rumblings of change. Upwards of 170 American cities in 31 states (as well as five cities in three Canadian provinces) have some kind of leaf blower restrictions already in place. LeafBlowerNoise.com maintains a list of cities across North America and beyond that have some kind of restrictions on the books.

And of course, there are cleaner, quieter ways to clear yard debris and leaf litter. Getting out the rake and broom is a sure-fire way to stay on your neighbors’ good side by avoiding all that pollution and noise. And it’s a great way to get some productive exercise on a fall day. Even better, get the kids off the couch and away from the screens to lend a hand.

Another alternative is to use an electric lawn vacuum which sucks up leaf litter and other yard debris (instead of blowing it around) with a lot less noise and without causing smog. That said, an electric leaf blower—either battery-powered or corded to an outlet—can get the job done with less noise and no spewing (albeit with less oomph).

Given recent outcries about leaf blowers, manufacturers have responded with new models that address many consumer—and neighbor—concerns. For example, Echo’s PB-250 was designed from the ground up to eliminate annoying noise frequencies and operate more efficiently while maintaining the flexibility of gasoline as a fuel. Husqvarna, Stihl, Black & Decker and TORO also have newer models which comply with most of the recently adopted leaf blower ordinances around the country. Check out the city of Burlingame, California’s PDF listing all models of leaf blowers that max out at 65 decibels in volume for quieter (and in many cases less polluting) models.

CONTACTS:  Leafblowernoise.com; Echo PB-250LN Handheld Gas Blower; Burlingame’s “65 Decibel Machinery List”.

EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of the nonprofit EarthTalk. To donate, visit www.earthtalk.org. Send questions to: question@earthtalk.org.

See also:
Tips For Reducing Traffic Noise Pollution Around Your Home
Animals To Humans: Be Quiet, Already

 

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

November 18, 2018

It’s a delightfully lazy Sunday morning. The Moon is void of course in Pisces. Sleep late. Relax. Indulge in sentimental favorites, comfort foods, familiar songs, faces and places. Enjoy mother nature. By late morning the Moon enters “get up and go”…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

November 2018

Learn Reiki to awaken your healing hands to help yourself, your loved ones and pets be healthier and happier. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (master teacher) This one-day...

Cost: $150

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

Discover the power of your inner queen  Are you experiencing life transitions causing you to wonder “Who am I? Where am I going? What do I do now?” Metaphysical meets modern to...

Cost: $20

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Join us the second Tuesday evening of the month for a Reiki Share in the Usui Reiki system of natural healing. We are a gathering of Reiki practitioners who share experiences, practice...

Cost: Free

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Fertility Awareness Meetup provides women with an opportunity to learn about and discuss natural birth control options and fertility. This is a space where women can connect with peers, access...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Women's Center
46 Pleasant Street
Cambridge, MA  02139
View map »


Sponsor: AC Fertility Awareness
Telephone: 617-899-7624
Contact Name: Anna Churchill

More information

The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
View map »


Contact Name: Brad Fanger

More information

Please join us at our monthly meetings, second Wednesday each month September - June in Westboro, MA. A welcoming community working for the greater health and wellbeing of all. Contact...

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman St
#108B
Westborough, MA
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In more recent years, as the dreams of progress continue to falter, our confidence in the future is shaking. What it means to be human; what education and morality mean; what corporations stand...

Cost: $10

Where:
Scottish Rite Museum
33 Marrett Road
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: Lexington Community Education
Telephone: 781-862-8043
Contact Name: Craig Hall
Website »

More information

In this talk, Joan will help you realize how much you are already communicating with your animals. She will show you how your animal companions respond to energy. You will learn how to set the pH...

Cost: $10

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

November 16 - 18 12.5 PDAs! Taijiquan is usually taught from the outside in: you learn the choreography, practice for years, and gradually come to understand what’s going on inside. In...

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Eco Village
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
View map »


Telephone: 866-264-5139
Contact Name: Yingxing Wang
Website »

More information

This is a “Mediumship Gallery” with June Edward, the “Massachusetts Medium”! Have you ever wanted to talk to someone on the other side? Is there someone you know who’s...

Cost: $50

Where:
VFW
109 Robbins Rd
Walpole, MA  02081
View map »


Sponsor: June Edward "The Massachusetts Medium"
Telephone: 508-259-1231
Contact Name: June edward
Website »

More information

Want to know more about the Women of Wisdom Schools of Wisdom Personal and Spiritual, and Professional Development Programs? This is your opportunity to meet the amazing instructors, hear...

Cost: Free

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
View map »


Contact Name: Brad Fanger

More information

“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” — Sanskrit Proverb Join us for an evening of deep exploration and transformation using the healing...

Cost: $40 (limited hardship rates available)

Where:
Museum of Modern Renaissance
115 College Avenue
Somerville, MA  02144
View map »


Sponsor: HolotropicMA
Contact Name: Allen Howell M.Ed. LMHC
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Instructors: James Ashton & Beth Masterman Adult level A half-day, workshop for anyone curious to learn about the chakra energy system and the timeless wisdom it provides for living a...

Cost: $80

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
View map »


Sponsor: Creative Spirit
Telephone: 781-797-0389
Website »

More information

This transformational workshop for singles and couples will equip you with the awareness, tools and skills to create the connection and intimacy you desire. Discern the 3 keys to unlock true...

Cost: $147/person; $294/couple

Where:
Watertown Center for Healing Arts
22 Mount Auburn Street
Watertown, MA  02472
View map »


Sponsor: Conscious Intimacy
Contact Name: Brynn Bishop
Website »

More information

Join us for an afternoon filled with fun! We’ll have your favorites: psychics, mediums, animal communicators, and spirit art! Holistic practitioners offering Holy Fire II Reiki, chair...

Cost: Varies per service

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

“Our World needs us—the sensitives/the empaths! We are the helpers, healers, the artists, and the holders of sacred space so that others may open. But first, we must accept our...

Cost: $65

Where:
private office
North Andover, MA  01845


Sponsor: Sacred Spiral Dance
Telephone: 978-973-6637
Contact Name: Diana Harris
Website »

More information

Hello brothers and sisters, Better World Meditation will be hosting a guided meditation and a solo flute concert with Steve Tapper Event Schedule: 7:30PM Doors open 7:45PM Guided...

Cost: $10

Where:
Saint John's Episcopal Church
74 Pleasant Street
(Rear left side of church door on Lombard Road-2nd floor)
Arlington, MA  024746
View map »


Sponsor: Better World Meditation
Telephone: 617-699-0636
Contact Name: Steven Kriger
Website »

More information

November 17–18 Note: Class runs 10am to 5:30pm on Saturday, 11/17 and 11am to 4pm on Sunday, 11/18 Students will learn to communicate with animals and to enhance human/animal...

Cost: $190

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags