Ban leaf blowers, wood smoke at same time


I completely agree with Jeff Mark (“Bring on the leaf sucker,” Dec. 3) and Debra J. Sarver (“Let’s ban gas-powered leaf blowers,” Dec. 10) about banning gas-powered leaf blowers for all the reasons they cite: noise, waste of resources, pollution and health hazards for those with asthma. 

And while we are at it, how about banning wood smoke from our residential and commercial areas, for some of the very same reasons — creating a public health hazard and an environmental toxin contributing to climate change. The city of Carmel just banned fire rings on the beach because the mayor and a local elected official had the guts to acknowledge that the science is in, wood smoke is a carcinogen. 

Wood smoke triggers asthma, harms young children’s lungs and can lead to heart issues and cancer. If we can ban cigarettes on Park Street, which are actually less toxic than wood smoke, can we please do the same for Alameda residents who just want to breathe clean air in their homes and when they shop?

No one in Alameda needs to use gas-powered leaf blowers, there are alternatives. No one needs to burn wood to cook in their backyards, or warm their homes by burning wood. There are alternatives. People need to be able to breathe, however, no choice in that. Using gas-powered leaf blowers is a lifestyle choice, it is not a necessity. Cooking or heating with wood, inside or outdoors, in residential or commercial areas is a lifestyle choice, it is not a necessity. Breathing is not a lifestyle choice, it is a necessity. 


Noelle Robbins