You can’t miss them. In recent years, leaf blowers have been the best friends of municipal officials, whose sometimes tedious task of collecting leaves from parks or gardens is facilitated by their use.
More and more people are also getting equipped with this device, available at an affordable price of 40 euros, even if the most expensive can go up to 500 euros. However, its use is harmful not only to nature but also to humans.
Noise equivalent to a chainsaw
Let us begin with the main inconvenience, which has not escaped anyone: its noise. What could be more unpleasant than to hear this infernal “Vrrroouummm” when you’re walking around in peace?
It is logical when we know that some leaf blowers are simply harmful to hearing: the threshold of 85 decibels, which is the limit for health, is sometimes exceeded by these machines, which can rise to 105 decibels according to a report from the Canton of Geneva. Or the sound of a chainsaw.
Not the most melodious we know
The risk of burns and back pain, as the device sometimes weighs several kilos, are also indicated on the instructions for use. Nothing very reassuring.
A mixture of fuel and oil
Long sleeves and goggles must also be worn to avoid the use of flying debris. And above all a mask, because leaf blowers release dust with a certain amount of power, which accelerates its diffusion and can have direct consequences on health: coughing, risks for asthmatics and danger for the eyes. The same applies to pollen, to which some people are allergic.
Another important point to stress is that these machines are generally polluting. The two-or four-engine thermal blowers, which are among the most “efficient” on the market, operate with a mixture of fuel and oil and return exhaust gases to the air.