Monday, October 29, 2012

Hate leafblowers? You're not alone.

Should we ban leaf-blowers in Bend.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 7:30 PM

We got this letter from a reader and we thought we'd share.

He wants to ban leaf-blowers in Bend.

What do you think?

I would like to propose a Leaf-Blower BAN here in Bend for the following reasons:

1. Two-cylinder engines of leaf-blowers are not regulated by any Federal or State agency and release 100% of their tailgate emissions directly into the environment.

2. A leaf-blower running for one hour emits as many hydrocarbons and other pollutants as a car driven at 55 mph for 110 miles.

3. Their decibel levels that far exceed acceptable limits. 

4. The incessant, high-pitched, pulsing whine of a leaf-blower is enough to raise peoples stress levels to the brink of insanity. 

5. They idea that leaf-blowers save time is a falsity, since it implies that the time stolen from the rest of us is worthless and they don't remove anything, they simply displace it into less ideal areas such as the air we breath (see below)

6. Using leaf-blowers is irrational.  They do nothing more than displace otherwise generally harmless debris/particulate into other parts of the yard/street/driveway, etc, and thrust them into the air where they become harmful, dirty the sides of homes & cars and find their way into homes and businesses increasing asthmatic reaction and thus reducing indoor air quality levels.  Even passerby's are greatly inconvenienced by the noise and air borne particulate that finds it's way into their eyes and lungs.  It's ridiculous that folks should have to close all of the windows on their homes daily during the "leaf-blower" season to prevent contaminated by this airborne insanity.  

7. And I ask this, "What exactly is the benefit of blowing particulate from one area, where it is harmless contained, and into the street, air, the sides of homes, etc?  It is not being removed, just displaced to a less favorable area.  How does this make even a grain of sense?

8. Additionally, subjecting natural things to blasts of hot, dry, hurricane-force winds (up to 180 mph) opens pathways for pests and disease, while at the same time aiding and abetting the pathogens by distributing them over the widest possible area promoting the spread of invasives, etc.

9. How does stripping off topsoil, desiccating roots, and killing vital soil-dwelling organisms, propelling into the air clouds of dirt, dust and dangerous contaminants including: volatile compounds, mold and fungal spores, weed seeds, insect eggs, pollen, molecules of the myriads of toxic chemicals people spray and sprinkle on their gardens, trees, and lawns, not to mention bird and rodent feces, make any rational sense at all?

  1. Gasoline-driven leaf-blowers have been banned in scores of California counties by logical individuals, including Los Angeles and hundreds of municipalities across the U.S. and Canada, and none of the horrors that were predicted by landscapers - untidy lawns, escalating costs, declining property values - has ever come to pass.
  2. The proliferation of leaf-blower use has far more to do with marketing than actual realized benefits.  When all the REAL costs are factored in, their alleged benefits don’t even BEGIN to justify their penalties, risks and reduction in quality of life to all whom are subjected to them.

Cheap to produce, priced to sell, and aggressively marketed, the real function of leafblowers is to rake in money for the huge corporations that manufacture them with complete disregard to the environment and the sanity of all within ear and breath shot.

Credits given for the original post to: Winifred Rosen, Guest Commentator, News
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