THE HARMS OF LEAF BLOWERS

Dear neighbors,

I am not sure if you know this information, so I wanted to reach out to you.Would you please ask your landscapers to limit or cease their use of leaf blowers? Leaf blowers use extremely inefficient two-stroke engines, which cause deafening noise and carcinogenic air pollution in our neighborhoods.Leaf blowers do more to speed up climate change than even cars.Using a two-stroke leaf blower for a half hour emits the hydrocarbon equivalent of driving a pickup truck for 3,900 miles.Leaf blowers can harm the health of your family and neighbors. The ozone and fine particulate matter they emit are well-known contributors to asthma, heart attack, stroke, cancer, and other serious health conditions, including possibly childhood autism.Leaf-blower noise is deafening — literally. Prolonged exposure can cause permanent hearing loss.Leaf blowers blast ozone, pesticides, mold, and animal feces into your yard and our neighborhood.Leaf blowers harm the workers who use them because workers suffer long-term noise exposure and inhale the most pollutants.Leaf blowers remove the materials that birds need for nesting and foraging. With bird and insect numbers plummeting, we need to do whatever is possible to make our yards more hospitable to them.What are alternatives? You can ask your landscaper not to use leaf blowers. For your flower gardens, “leave the leaves” so that you won’t have to buy mulch or fertilizer. For your lawn, using rakes will take a few minutes longer, but will be healthier for your family, your neighbors, the workers, and the environment.

LEAH KATZ
Montclair

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