Here is a letter from the Silent Spring Institute concerning the health effects of gasoline-powered leaf blowers.
July 10, 2014
To whom it may concern,
As scientists at Silent Spring Institute, we are writing to share our concerns about the health effects of gasoline-powered leaf blowers and other gas-powered landscaping equipment. Our recently published review of likely breast carcinogens (available at http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1307455/) identified exposure to benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and many polyaromatic hydrocarbons as particularly high concerns based on their strength as genotoxic carcinogens and the potential for high exposure both from gasoline fumes and from the exhaust of gasoline powered devices such as leaf blowers. The Institute of Medicine also recently identified benzene and butadiene as two of the environmental chemicals most likely to increase breast cancer risk (their report is available at http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Breast-Cancer-and-the-Environment-A-Life-Course-Approach.aspx).
In addition to possible links with breast cancer, these chemicals and others in gasoline fumes and exhaust have been linked to asthma and other respiratory problems as well as cancer at multiple sites.
Julia Green Brody
Executive Director, Silent Spring Institute
Research Director, Silent Spring Institute
Staff Scientist, Silent Spring Institute