The law would require the city government to switch from gas-powered leaf blowers to electric leaf blowers by January 2025. SEATTLE —— Seattle City Council member Alex Pedersen has introduced new legislation that would phase out the use of gas-fired leaf blowers in Seattle. The Washington, D.C. ban, passed in 2018, went into effect earlier this year. Multnomah County, Oregon, began switching to all electric blowers last year. And California regulators voted to stop selling new gasoline-powered lawn equipment — including lawn mowers — as early as 2024. In total, about 40 jurisdictions across the country had banned leaf blowers as of December 2021, according to the city. Seattle isn`t the only city considering a ban on leaf blowers. Gasoline leaf blowers will be used from 1.
October in San Rafael, a city 30 minutes north of San Francisco, California, and violations could eventually face fines of up to $500. “Gas leaf blowers cause air pollution, noise pollution that harms the workers who use them, as well as the people and animals around them,” Pederson said. In the United States, more than 170 jurisdictions in 31 states have some sort of restriction on the use of gas leaf blowers. Washington D.C., for example, has completely banned their use. California will introduce a similar restriction in 2024. Critics of this possible ban claim that gasoline leaf blowers are much stronger for landscapers than electric and battery-powered blowers. Gas leaf blowers will soon be banned in Seattle. The City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday. Gas blowers are also noisier than their electric counterparts. Before DC implemented its policy, a study showed that low-frequency noise from machines penetrated windows and glass doors more easily than battery-powered DIN.
Over time, this whirlwind is not just a nuisance; it can accelerate hearing loss. Health and environmental studies support these steps. While gas blowers account for less than one percent of traffic-related greenhouse gas emissions in King County, their two-stroke engines exacerbate contaminated air. Using one of these fans for an hour produces as much “smog-generating pollution” as driving a 2017 Camry for about 1,100 miles, according to the California Air Resources Board. “You`re turning off a toxic exhaust,” Nicole Grant, executive director of the nonprofit climate organization 350 Seattle, said at the sustainability committee meeting. Too much exposure to these chemicals can cause everything from headaches to cancer. The National Association of Landscape Professionals has in the past opposed a total ban on gasoline leaf blowers for obvious reasons: “Leaf blowers save a lot of time.” Electric blowers aren`t as powerful, the organization argued, and using rakes and brooms could take up to five times longer to clean an area. like wearing a gas blower. So there is a chance that all of this is nothing more than political hot air. But in this case, a little noise around the leaf blowers is better than not at all.
“More than 430 voters participated in my informal poll on whether leaf blowers should be phased out, and 82 percent said yes,” Pederson said. “Almost everyone hates disgusting, noisy, gas-burping leaf blowers, so why do we allow them to continue damaging eardrums, spraying debris on their faces, and polluting our city?” said Pedersen. Other cities are banning or phasing out leaf blowers, and it`s time to drive them out of Seattle as well.” Other cities, including Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., have banned gasoline leaf blowers. The ban on L.A. has been little enforced. The DC ban is a success, a representative on the Seattle City Council said last month. The new policy would require city workers, as well as businesses and Seattle residents, to use electric leaf blowers, rakes and brooms instead. Baker and Ruby called for a resolution to phase out the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers in municipal services by 2025 (the private sector would have until 2027). The bill, sponsored by council member Alex Pedersen, passed unanimously last week, making us the last place to ban an endemic scourge of WHP in the fall. “While Seattle prides itself on being a leader on many topics,” Pedersen said, “we`re too late when it comes to remedying the damage caused by leaf blowers.” Parks reports that alternatives, such as electric leaf blowers, aren`t strong enough to work by default during the wet autumn months. The ministry has set a goal of electrifying half of its leaf blowers by 2026.
Leaf blower rot is not a new concern. Seattle began looking for ways to reduce noise and emissions from leaf blowers in 2014. But since that request for council recommendations, the use of gasoline leaf blowers in the city has actually skyrocketed from 211 machines then to 418 today (the use of electric blowers has also increased from 21 to 70 during this period).