A Year from Now, Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Sales Will Be Banned in California. But….

The back of the truck after a typical Tuesday. Ryobi 40v battery blower at lower right.
On July 1, 2024, the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers will be illegal in California.

Gardeners and homeowners will still be able to operate gas blowers purchased before that date. Sale of used leaf blowers will be legal.

Some will buy new gas-powered blowers on places like ebay, and travel to, say, Nevada (where they’ll likely also buy illegal fireworks) to purchase banned units, and return home to pollute the atmosphere and annoy neighbors.

I work outside an average of five hours a day, including weekends. I immediately notice when I can’t hear any leaf blowers (or chainsaws).

It hardly ever happens. When it does, it’s like … getting out jail. Noise jail.

Gas blowers are popular because mow-and-blow crews are paid by the month. The more clients they pack into a day, the more they earn. Rakes and brooms take time, and energy. Some crews charge clients more for not using leaf blowers.

This piece illuminates many of the health dangers involved with gas-powered leaf blowers.

One thing this article doesn’t address is a different type of hydrocarbon pollution. In Lamorinda, we’re surrounded by the 24 and 680 highways, as well as CA13 over the hill to the west. There’s also, of course, increasing traffic on Moraga Way and Moraga Rd, and other thoroughfares. Particulate exhaust hydrocarbons drift, and land on the ground. These particulates join insect offal, bird crap, and excrement from other animals.

It’s all on the ground.

And it’s being blown up into the air in a whirling, 200+ mph vortex.

I use a battery-powered Ryobi 40v leaf blower every day, and have for five years. It’s powerful enough for my and my client’s needs. 95% of the time it’s used on hardscape; I do my best to avoid using it on dirt / vegetation. I wear an N95 mask nearly all the time while using it. I’ll wear goggles for extended work. It’s not so loud I need ear protection.

Some local governments are banning blowers completely. I could deal with such a ban; it’d make my job harder, but I wouldn’t complain.

The California law is a start, but it doesn’t have the necessary teeth to solve the problem.

Gas leaf blowers need to be banned, outright.

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