September 1, 2009
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Albany: The John Deere Company, headquartered in Moline, Illinois, has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for manufacturing the “Whirly Wind Leaf Blower,” designed for children. According to John Deere, “Children will enjoy the realistic blowing action of this great role-play toy. Pulling the handle activates the mechanical action spinning the impellers in the clear plastic window as the child can feel the air blowing out the end. Durable plastic construction. No batteries are required. John Deere Whirly Wind Leaf Blower is recommended for ages three years and over.”
John Deere is attempting to create a new generation of noisemakers. Kimberly J. Newson, writing a product review on amazon.com, states, “I bought this product for a little boy’s third birthday. He wanted a leaf blower just like Daddy’s.”
However, “Mom in California” was deeply disappointed with the Whirly-Wind Leaf Blower, because it wasn’t noisy enough: “We purchased this blower for our two year-old’s birthday because of the review on amazon.com that said it really blows….It doesn’t make much noise because it’s not battery operated. That could be a good thing except that our little boy thinks it’s broken cause it doesn’t sound anything like Daddy’s. Overall, a disappointment for our family, bummer.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, stated that “the Whirly-Wind Leaf Blower is another example of corporations making money by promoting noise. The fact that John Deere is attempting to get children into a noisy lifestyle is despicable. American corporations have created a new generation of noisemakers, through toys, video games, video arcades, IPods, Muzak, monster truck competitions, boom cars, loud sporting events, loud movies, and loud sporting events. Unnecessary noise is now everywhere. We are even bombarded by useless noise at the gas pump and the library.”
In addition, Rueter noted, “Leaf blowers hurt children. They kick up dirt and dust. They blare and screech. They spread herbicides, pesticides, and animal droppings into the air. In one hour, they create as much tailpipe emissions as a car does over 350 miles.”
Rueter also stated that noise is very bad for children: “Noise is not simply a nuisance or annoyance; it is a health hazard. Noise is linked to chronic fatigue, sleep difficulties, learning difficulties, and aggressive behavior. More than three million under age 18 experience hearing difficulties–much of it caused by noise.”
Ideally, leaf blowers should be banned. They are ridiculous and unnecessary. Four hundred communities around the country have banned or severely restricted their use.
According to Noise Free America’s Rueter, “John Deere is doing the public a major disservice. No corporation should be encouraging a noisy lifestyle–especially among children. America’s children should be taught to respect the quiet–not to blast away with a ridiculous leaf blower.”
Noise Free America is national 501c3 citizens organization devoted to opposing noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Muzak, Harley-Davidson, the Speed Channel, and Pioneer Electronics.