Ban gas-powered and high noise leaf blowers

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Make Santa Cruz healthier for our residents!  Please ban gas-powered leaf blowers and high noise leaf blowers above 55 decibels.

Uncontrolled Exhaust  -  The California Air Resources Board reports that the gas engines powering leaf blowers exhaust as much as 30% of their fuel unburned into the air.  The major pollutants from a gas leaf blower engine are oil-based particulates, a mixture of hydrocarbons from both burned and unburned fuel, carbon monoxide (CO), and other toxic air contaminants in the unburned fuel.  [1]

Worse Polluter than a Large Pickup Truck  -  An Edmunds emissions test showed that a gas leaf blower emitted 23 times the CO and 300 times more hydrocarbons than a Ford Raptor pickup truck.  [2]

Harmful Particulates  -  The average car is driven for about two hours every day.  A leaf blower is in almost continuous use for the entire work day, spewing the fuel, brake dust, feces, pesticides, and molds into the air at 200 miles per hour.  Think about what these particulates do to our pets.  These pollutants are especially harmful to expectant mothers and their fetuses, infants, children, and the elderly.  [1]

Unregulated Smog  -  Cars require periodic smog checks.  Leaf blowers are not subject to any regulations.  They just blow all the pollutants into the air at greater than hurricane wind speed.  [1]

Worse Polluters than Cars  -  The California Air Resources Board reports that in one hour, a gas-powered leaf blower emits 26 times the amount of CO, up to 49 times the amount of particulate matter, and 498 times the amount of hydrocarbons than an average car running for the same amount of time.  Stated another way, the leaf blower's CO emissions are equivalent to 880 miles of automobile travel and the hydrocarbon emissions are equivalent to 15,400 miles.  [1]

Negative Effects on Cognitive Performance of Children  -  Noise pollution is not just a nuisance, it's a real threat to human health more serious than just hearing loss.  Numerous studies have shown that noise has negative effects on children's learning and cognitive performance.  [3, 4]

Santa Cruz Lags Behind other California Cities  -  Gas leaf blowers are bad for our health and our environment.  That is why approximately two dozen communities in California have banned gas-powered leaf blowers.  [5]

  1. California Air Resources Board: A Report to the California Legislature on the Potential Health & Environmental Impacts of Leaf Blowers
  2. Edmunds: Emissions Test: Car vs. Truck vs. Leaf Blower
  3. British Medical Bulletin: Noise pollution: non-auditory effects on health
  4. Mother Jones: Is Your Noisy Neighborhood Slowly Killing You?
  5. California Leaf Blower Ordinances Data compiled by Zero Air Pollution Los Angeles


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