Are Leaf Blowers Banned? What You Need To Know

This noisy and dirty piece of machinery was the brilliant solution to the labor-intensive rake and broom system of fall leaves.

Since its inception, many jurisdictions have had leaf blowers banned due to high noise levels, or negligent operators blowing debris onto the streets, near parked cars or dangerously close to pedestrians on sidewalks.

There are already restrictions imposed in many places dictating how long you can operate a leaf blower and what time of day you can use it. While some jurisdictions prohibit the use of gasoline-powered blowers, others prohibit the use of blowers altogether.

Why Do People Use Leaf Blowers?

There are many different garden tools, the leaf blower among them, which uses an electric or gas engine to blow debris and leaves away. Instead of spending time sweeping debris around your yard with a rake or broom, you can quickly remove it with a single blast from a leaf blower.

Since its invention, hundreds and thousands of leaf blower versions have flown off the shelves of home improvement stores around the country.

READ MORE: How do leaf blowers work?

Types of Leaf Blowers

Here are the commonly used types of leaf blowers:

Gas Leaf Blowers

A gasoline-powered leaf blower is the most effective tool for dealing with fallen leaves. However, they’re the noisiest, require substantial upkeep, and increase pollution in your area.

Corded Electric Leaf Blowers

Electric blowers connected to an outdoor outlet are known as corded electric leaf blowers. Due to the cable’s length, they’re best suited for small yards.

Corded electric blowers are remarkably lightweight as they don’t require a gas engine or a battery pack. Their weightlessness makes them an excellent choice for homeowners who want a simple blower to operate for jobs such as gutter cleaning.

Cordless Electric Leaf Blowers

Cordless electric blowers offer more mobility. Modern versions of cordless leaf blowers have enough power to compete with low-to-mid-range gas leaf blowers in terms of performance.

Since the battery life varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, it may be necessary to swap out numerous batteries to clean a large yard. Before purchasing a battery, be sure you know how long it will last.

The Purpose Behind Leaf Blower Bans

Leaf blowers are despised for various reasons, some of which we’ll explore in more depth in the paragraphs that follow.

However, to summarize it in a single sentence, they’re noisy, filthy, and blatant annoyances to the general public.

Noisy

Petitions are calling for a leaf blower ban because of the excessive noise they generate. Using an industrial or gas-powered leaf blower for more than two hours impacts your hearing and as far as usage is concerned, some generate between 80 and 85 decibels (dB), depending on the model.

On the other hand, most low and mid-priced leaf blowers can produce up to 112 dB of noise. To put it in perspective, an airplane takeoff produces 105 dB of sound. It’s possible that you could suffer hearing loss when exposed often to this level of noise.

Leaf blowers, even when used at a distance of 800 meters, produce noise levels well above the 55 dB threshold that’s deemed safe. Due to their extreme volume, it’s possible to hear them from several homes away.

Regardless, there are some brands that have designed a more quiet leaf blower that are popular among homeowners and businesses, with some people using them regularly. As a result of the overlap of noise created by residents and landscaping employees, these devices can also be heard for several hours each day. This has had leaf blowers banned in many areas.

Polluting The Air With Chemical Emissions

Leaf blowers pose several threats to air quality that should be considered. For the most part, consumer-grade blowers are powered by two-stroke engines that don’t have an independent lubricating system.

As a result, gasoline and oil must be combined. The combustion of oil and fuel releases various harmful toxic pollutants into the atmosphere. This is a leading argument in the leaf blowers ban case.

Moreover, these pollutants include carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. These gases contribute to gaseous pollutants leading to environmental hazards such as acid rain. Carcinogenic gases, such as hydrocarbons, also contribute to smog.

Where Are Leaf Blowers Banned?

The following states have cities that have banned the use of both gas and electric gas bowers:

  • New York City
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Colorado
  • Texas
  • New Jersey
  • Vermont

Use this resource to check your cities for bans on leaf blowers before you purchase or use one.

Leaves Blowers Can Still Be Used For a Wide Range of Purposes

Are Leaf Blowers Banned

Avid leaf blower users understand how useful they can be as a productivity tool. Blowers are faster than brooms or rakes when it comes to cleaning the sidewalks and gardens. Leaf blowers can also be more protective in certain situations, such as when you need to remove leaves from a thorny bush.

One solution to the leaf blower problem could be to switch to a battery-powered electric blower. Due to technological advancements in battery-driven garden equipment, it’s now possible to purchase electric blowers that are more powerful, lighter, and quieter than gasoline-powered blowers.

That said, recharging a battery-powered leaf blower takes more time than filling up a gas tank, and they’re not as strong as gas leaf blowers. Many lawn care professionals aren’t keen on the idea of gasoline-powered blowers being banned.

Conclusion

If your city hasn’t had leaf blowers banned, you can play a role in preventing that from happening by reducing the noise level. Modern leaf blowers, including gasoline-powered models, are approximately 75% quieter than their predecessors.

Furthermore, there are numerous extra-quiet blowers commercially available right now that emit sound levels of 65 dB (A) or less.

Replace your old noisy leaf blowers with a quieter model to help negate any chances of a leaf blower ban in your area!

Related articles:

Find the best hearing protection for using a blower

How to choose the best leaf blower brand

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