Protect our Quality of Life and Air we breathe. Ban gas powered leaf blowers in LM Twp.

Protect our Quality of Life and Air we breathe. Ban gas powered leaf blowers in LM Twp.

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Climate Action Lower Merion started this petition to Lower Merion Township Commissioners

To make a strong case, We are focused on collecting signatures within Lower Merion Township only. Thanks to all others for your interest, and keep up the fight!

Across the United States, and around the world, municipal, county, and state governments are adopting measures designed to curtail or ban outright the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers. Gasoline powered leaf blowers, which have grown in popularity since the 1970s, rely on the antiquated technology of two-stroke engines, which are cheaper to operate and lighter to carry than the four stroke engines of automobiles. They are also far louder and vastly more polluting than automobile engines, and increasingly have come under public scrutiny because of the hazards posed both to public health and because they clearly violate the rights of community members to what is known by the courts as “the quiet enjoyment of our premises.”  Specific support for these claims follows.  

1) Noise from gas powered leaf blowers reaches 95 decibels, exceeding levels  recommended by EPA, OSHA and W.H.O.  Causing hearing loss, this noise is the new second hand smoke.  Even though some people say they don’t feel bothered by it, its physiological effects include increased blood pressure, heart rates and cortisol levels, an increase that is implicated in diabetes and heart disease.  We have no studies of the effects of noise on other-than-human creatures, but we do know that dwindling populations of birds, bats, amphibians, and beneficial insects depend (like whales) on soundscapes that they create, to which gasoline-powered leaf-blowers must be disruptive.  

2) Gas powered leaf blowers operate on wasteful and inefficient 2 stroke engines.  30% of the gas and oil mixture that is used is spilled onto the ground.  What is combusted spews into the air we breathe, and is particularly harmful to people with respiratory issues, like asthma. Emissions include  4 of the top 10 carcinogens listed by the World Health Organization. Operating a gas powered leaf blower for one hour is equivalent to driving 1100 miles (Denver CO to Los Angeles, CA).

3) As climate change looms, and we consider clean energy alternatives, we can no longer ignore the degrading contribution of gas powered leaf blowers, which, (like cars and trucks), are damaging to air quality, and (unlike cars and trucks) are unregulated. One emissions study found that an idling two-stroke engine emits 60,000 times the amount of benzene recommended for safe levels of exposure.  Fossil fuel combustion is only one source of the damage caused by gasoline-powered leaf blowers to air quality. The 200 mph winds driving leaves off of lawns and sidewalks are also filling the air with particulate matter containing pesticides, herbicides, mold spores, fecal matter from pets, and dust.  The ecological fallout from leaf blowers is also worth considering.  Dust driven into bags also contains biota on which trees and native plantings depend for nutrition. The canopy starves. Dust that accumulates from the erosion of lawns and soils contributes to sedimentation and flooding of our creeks and rivers.

4) And in addition to harmful environmental effects, landscapers who use the 2 stroke gas powered are risking their own health, by increasing the risk of hearing loss, heart disease and diabetes. 

5) There are clean, quiet alternatives  to gas powered leaf blowers.  There are battery operated gas powered leaf blowers. For example, a company called MowGreen has successfully operated using electric machines since 2006.  Many cities and townships throughout the country have banned 2 stroke gas powered leaf blowers — Larchmont NY, Burlington, VT,  and Aspen CO  to name a few.  Washington DC has banned gas powered leaf blowers and the sale of gas powered leaf blowers by Jan 2022. In 2017, the California Air Resources Board warned that by 2020, gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and similar equipment in the state could produce more ozone pollution than all of the cars (millions) operating in that state combined. Cars are now much cleaner than gasoline-powered landscape equipment.

Recognizing the impact on public health, the countries of Israel, India, and Indonesia have banned gasoline-powered leaf-blowers because of the high cost of  medical claims caused by the 2 stroke engine.  Isn’t it time for our local government to follow suit?  

For the health of the residents of Lower Merion Township let’s ban 2 stroke gas powered leaf blowers.

contact us for more info:

climateactionlm@gmail.com

https://www.climateactionlm.org

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!