"Leaf blowers test whether or not we know how to be neighborly."

GAS-POWERED LEAF BLOWERS 

Leaf blowers are loud - usually 100 decibels or more at the source. Cover your ears!

Leaf blowers kick up particulate matter - air blown at over 200 miles per hour disturbs topsoil, pollen, mold, animal feces, pesticides, etc. Cover your nose and mouth! 

Leaf blowers disturb peace and quiet of neighborhoods. Health and quality of life is greatly affected.

Issues 

 

What’s the problem?

Pensacola neighborhoods are being threatened by excessive use of leaf blowers, especially gas-powered leaf blowers. The noise and pollution threatens our health, quality of life and natural resources. Our current ordinance is outdated and lacks citizen-driven enforcement provisions. 

Environmental and Social Justice 

Hired workers who operate leaf blowers are often not provided proper safety equipment by their employers and not educated about the public health hazards associated with their equipment. And they are not likely to be working for the same employer ten years from now, when the most serious hearing loss sets in. 

"People without power or privilege jeopardizing their long-term health because no one bothered to switch to modern, safer lawn equipment."

James Fallows

Noise: Loud environmental noise causes noise-related health problems, and also hypertension and increased risk of heart attack. Chronic environmental noise is particularly harmful to children and the elderly because unwanted noise, often dismissed as a mere “nuisance”, can be harmful while growing and to those who are home bound or suffering from chronic anxiety. It poses a serious threat to a child’s physical and psychological health. Researchers linked chronic environmental noise to decreased school performance. Leaf blower noise far exceeds the recommendation for general outdoor noise and public health.

More than 100 million Americans are at risk for noise-related health problems, and over 145 million at risk of hypertension due to noise, and even more at an increased risk of heart attack. ... “There is a clear need for policy aimed at reducing noise exposures.”

“Environmental Noise Pollution in the United States: Developing an Effective Public Health Response”, Environmental Health Perspectives, Hammer, Swinburn, Neitzel, February 2014.

“There is overwhelming evidence from laboratory experiments that the presence of uncontrollable noise can significantly impair cognitive performance. Noise can induce learned helplessness, increase arousal, alter the choice of task strategy, and decrease attention to the task.”

“Noise Exposure and Public Health”, Environmental Health Perspectives, Passchier-Vermeer and Passchier, 2000.

Particulate matter: Particulate matter and other contaminants are in the dust kicked up by leaf blowers. So are pollen, fecal matter, mold, fungus, pesticides, herbicides, etc. Particulate matter is then absorbed into our lungs and can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, bronchitis, and other lung diseases, particularly among children and the elderly, according to the American Heart Association and others. 

“Conclusions regarding the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer risk [are] robust”

“Outdoor Particulate Matter Exposure and Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”, Environmental Health Perspectives, Hamra, Guha, et al, September 2014

“Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream. Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart."

“Particle Pollution (PM)”, AirNow, January 2017.

Public Health Hazards 

Chronic environmental noise causes a higher risk of hypertension and a higher risk of heart attack. Fine toxic and carcinogenic exhaust dust causes asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. The following recognize excessive leaf blower use has become a public health issue: 

American Lung Association 

American Heart Association 

Centers for Disease Control

Harvard School of Public Health 

University of Michigan School of Public Health

Children’s Environmental Health Network 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

U.S. Department of Labor

World Health Organization

THIS IS ALSO A

SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE

Hire someone to rake and sweep your yard ...

you've given them

A GOOD JOB

Hire someone to use a

heavily-polluting

noise-blasting

leaf blower ...

you've given them

LUNG DAMAGE AND

HEARING LOSS

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