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Broken Clouds 45° Good Evening

Letter: Cleaner leaf blowers could reduce danger

Leaf blower.

Leaf blower.


In the last couple years, I’ve encountered articles about Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland’s claim that gas-powered leaf blowers are dangerous [“PSA for gas-powered leaf-blowers launched,” News, March 30]. I find myself wondering what the problem is.

Gas-fueled blowers burn either gasoline — with or without ethanol and stabilizer — or a gasoline-oil mix.

Unlike leaf-blowers from the past, modern units are designed to minimize emissions. Some even comply with the higher standards set by the California Air Resources Board. These machines don’t pour out large volumes of smoke. Of course, lots of old ones are still in use. And leaf blowers, either gas or electric, are loud.

In comparison, electric leaf blowers don’t spew emissions, but the power plants that electrify them might. They are far less powerful and take a lot longer to get the job done, which keeps prolongs the noise.

If the issue is air pollution, maybe the town should encourage the retirement of older, dirtier equipment. If the issue is with commercial equipment, maybe there should be decibel limits created in cooperation with manufacturers, with compliance required over a reasonable time.

The town might choose to require that professionals wear hearing-protective equipment and limit the hours that the noisiest equipment can be used.

Ron Troy, East Northport

Editor’s note: The writer sells leaf blowers at a retail store.