April 1, 2020
For immediate release
There are many reasons to oppose leaf blowers: the excessive noise, the irritation, the kicking up of dirt and dust and debris, the spreading of animal waste, and the general stupidity of blowing stuff around. Now there may be a new reason: it is possible that there is a link between leaf blowers and Covid-19.
Two recent studies have demonstrated a correlation between Covid-19 deaths in communities with long-term high levels of fine particle pollution. One study was conducted at Harvard University; the other was conducted by researchers in Denmark and Italy.
Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health study, updated April 5: A national study on long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/covid-pm
CNN, April 7: Covid-19 death rates rise in counties with high air pollution, study says: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/07/health/covid-19-air-pollution-risks-wellness/index.html
The New York Times, April 7: New research links air pollution to higher coroavirus death rates: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/climate/air-pollution-coronavirus-covid.html
The “stay at home” orders in all states have reinforced a new reality: American residential neighborhoods are often very noisy. This article from The New York Times discusses the leaf blower drama in many suburbs: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/nyregion/coronavirus-leaf-blowers.html
Some communities on the East Coast have already temporarily suspended the use of leaf blowers during this pandemic. In Michigan, landscaping services have been temporarily banned.
This section of our web site discusses lawn equipment noise. It includes a list of communities which have banned or restricted gas-powered leaf blowers: https://noisefree.org/sources-of-noise/lawn-and-garden-equipment/
Now is an excellent time to advocate for restrictions on noisy lawn equipment. Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet has written a manual, “How to Fight Noise.” https://noisefree.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/howtofightnoisemanual.pdf
Your financial support of the work of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet would be greatly appreciated!
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet
PO Box 2754
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27515