Pima County Clean Air Program offers four good reasons to ditch leaf blowers

While leaf blowers may seem convenient, the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program said there are four good reasons why they should be avoided.

Gas-powered leaf blowers emit pollutants such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other hazardous air pollutants. The pollutants could affect the health of those using the blowers as well as the health of family members and neighbors.

A typical leaf blower emits 70 to 75 decibels of noise – beyond the 60-dB level considered acceptable in residential areas.

Leaf blowers kick up allergens that could cause asthma and allergy symptoms or aggravate lung-related issues. Besides moving leaves, leaf blowers kick up all kinds of materials such as mold, animal feces and dust particles. Small debris can drift for days before settling. The particles are so small they can bypass the body's usual filter systems in the nose and throat and end up in lungs, causing respiratory issues for those sensitive to such irritants.

Leaf blowers also use gasoline, while rakes and brooms require no fuels, keeping the air cleaner. Rakes and brooms also do not cost money to operate and are a lot quieter than gas-powered lawn tools.

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