“...requests that the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) provide recommendations describing options for regulations and incentives to reduce or eliminate leaf blower noise and emissions in Seattle.”
Just how bad is a leaf blower?
In a 2011 report comparing a two-stroke leaf blower to a Ford Raptor Pickup:
“The two-stroke leaf blower was worse still, generating 23 times the CO and nearly 300 times more non-methane hydrocarbons than the crew cab pickup. Let's put that in perspective. To equal the hydrocarbon emissions of about a half-hour of yard work with this two-stroke leaf blower, you'd have to drive a Raptor for 3,887 miles, or the distance from Northern Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.”
*Leaf blowers stir up over two pounds per hour per leaf blower of dangerous particulate matter including but not limited to cat, dog, and rodent feces, pesticides, and street dust which may include mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and nickel. (The American Lung Associate of Sacramento)
*the EPA has documented that gas powered leaf blowers are a significant source of air borne particulates, non-methane hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and other air pollutants.
*Owners’ manuals warn that operators and anyone within 50 feet of an operating leaf blower should wear protective eye, ear, and respiratory gear. (http://www.nonoise.org/quietnet/cqs/leafblow.htm) Leaf blower noise is especially irritating for anyone within earshot because of its particular pitch, the changing amplitude, and the lack of control by the hearer (Michael H.L. Hecker, psychoacoustician). *Leaf blowers exceed the World Health Organization’s acceptable ambient noise levels by 20 decibels at 50 feet, and leaf blowers exceed World Health Org noise levels by 50 decibels at the operator’s ear, a level sure to cause hearing loss and impact the operators’ health in general, particularly the cardiovascular system. (World Health Org and “Comments on Occupational Noise to the OSHA Standards Planning Committee,” Alice Sutter, PhD and www. nonoise.org)
*gas powered leaf blowers disturb the microclimate and diminish top soil, degrade its quality and increase water runoff; essentially destroying the soil biota with the toxic high winds created.
This is good news for our neighborhoods, landscaping crews, and our micro flora and fauna;
I'll keep you updated...