Trouble with blowers

Two little girls were playing outside the apartments across the road from our house the other day. Someone called them in for lunch. A guy came along in front of the apartments with a two-stroke gas-powered leaf blower. He blew at leaves and bits of grass for a while, then moved on round the corner. Consequently, when the little girls came out to play they were breathing air that was full of bad stuff. 

This was not an unusual event. Kids play outside a lot on our street, and guys with two-stroke leaf blowers are frequent visitors. But this is a very unhealthy, dangerous, combination. Children’s lungs are particularly vulnerable. They need and deserve clean air. 

There’s plenty of leaf-blower information on the Internet. Here’s a sample: “The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says gasoline leaf blowers are responsible for fuel and exhaust emissions including hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter.” They state the amount of carbon monoxide emitted from a typical gas leaf blower in one hour of operation is the same as you’d get from driving a modern car for eight hours. 

Two-stroke, gas-powered leaf-blowers have been banned in a number of cities including: Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Beverley Hills. It’s time the City of Alameda followed suit. We owe it to our kids, ourselves and the planet. 


Emmanuel Williams