More polluting than cars
Gas powered leaf blowers use two-cycle and four-cycle gasoline engines which produce hundreds of times more hazardous pollutants than automobiles. The State of California estimates that small engines such as those in leaf blowers will be the number one source of air pollution by 2020.
Gas blowers create high levels of formaldehyde, benzine, fine particulate matter and smog forming chemicals which cause dizziness, headaches, asthma attacks, heart and lung disease and cancer.
Blowers can create clouds of industrial pollutants, demolition debris such as lead, asbestos, feces, pollens, fertilizers and dust, polluting the air we breathe.
Noise from gas powered leaf blowers penetrates homes, schools, parks, disturbs wildlife, and consistently violates Portland’s noise ordinance. Operating a gas leaf blower can cause permanent hearing loss in 2 hours and can impact 90 nearby homes.
Re-fueling spills contaminate soil and waterways and maintenance of gas powered blowers produces toxic waste like fuel filters and contaminated air filters. Blowers erode, compact and dry out soil and harm plants, microorganisms and pollinators.
Most at risk
Operators of the equipment are most at risk but the exhaust and dust is a danger to the general population, especially children, the elderly, people with chronic asthma and people exercising. Gas blowers are often used in parks and public spaces where many people are exposed to the dangers.