CityLab: “…The tragedy of the leaf blower is that it makes assholes of us all, users and neighbors alike. The aggressively un-civil nature of these devices is the stuff of legend, especially here at Atlantic Media, where The Atlantic’s esteemed national correspondent, James Fallows, has led an epic campaign against the Leafblower Menace. Those who want to explore all the moral and environmental arguments should consult his deep body of advocacy first. But the short version goes like this:
- The crude little two-stroke engines used by most commercial backpack-style blowers are pollution bombs. “Simplest benchmark: running a leafblower for 30 minutes creates more emissions than driving a F-150 pickup truck 3800 miles,” Fallows writes. “About one-third of the gasoline that goes into this sort of engine is spewed out, unburned, in an aerosol mixed with oil in the exhaust.”
- Those emissions—plus all the other fine-particulate crap that the blowers kick up—constitute a public health hazard for anyone in the vicinity, but especially for the poor bastard running the thing. In most cities and suburbs, those most afflicted are low-wage employees of landscaping companies, not residents or homeowners.
- THE NOISE GAAH MAKE IT STOP. A gas blower at full cry can exceed a 100 decibels for the operator (OSHA requires hearing protections at 85), as these Sacramento blower foes explain, and it carries for hundreds of feet in every direction, irritating all who dwell therein…”