Leafblower resources

General information • Media coverage: National / RegionalResearch studies
RI legislation • Other state regulations

American Green Zone Alliance — “The leader In low-impact, low-noise landcare solutions”

Buy Quiet — A program by the Center for Disease Control‘s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to encourage companies to use quieter, electric-powered equipment

Leafblowers Leave Lungs Vulnerable,” Respiratory Health Association (Oct. 2020)

PVD Noise Project leafblower infosheet (PDF, 2022)

Quiet Clean RI — A group of Rhode Island residents advocating for state and local leafblower regulations

Media coverage

National media

Leafblowers are a scourge. Why is it hard to get rid of them?The Hustle (Nov. 3, 2023)

Hear that? It’s the sound of leafblower bans,” Grist (Oct. 25, 2023)

Home Depot announces major change to lawn equipment inventory: ‘They’re quieter and cleaner,’ ” Yahoo News (June 24, 2023)

Your Yard Could Be Killing You,” The Big Shift podcast (March 31, 2023)

Think Globally on Climate, Act Locally on Leaf Blowers,” Regulatory Review, University of Pennsylvania Law School (Feb. 6, 2023)

Why Leaf Blower Bans Are on the Rise,” LeafScore (Dec. 28, 2022)

Gas-powered leaf blowers face a moment of reckoning,” Yahoo News (Feb. 3, 2022)

Noisy, gas-burping leaf blowers are being outlawed in one state. Are more to come?” CNET (Nov. 7, 2021)

The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Leaf Blowers,” New York Times (Oct. 25, 2021)

Add this to the list of things I’ll never miss: The gas-powered leafblower,” Los Angeles Times (Oct. 17, 2021)

Here’s Why Leafblowers Are Evil Incarnate,” Wall Street Journal (Oct. 7, 2021)

Leaf blowers beware! NC man is leading a nationwide push against noise,” Raleigh News & Observer (Oct. 4, 2021)

Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers: The End is Nigh,” James Fallows, Breaking the News (Oct. 2, 2021)

Lawncare is going electric — and the revolution is here to stay,” Washington Post (June 30, 2021)

Why Cities are Taking Action to Limit Loud and Polluting Lawn Care,” Audubon magazine (Spring 2021)

Leafblower noise,” Soundproofist podcast (December 2020)

Leaf Blowers Are Loud, Ugly and Dangerous,” Wall Street Journal (Oct. 18, 2018)

National Survey Finds 40 Percent of Americans with a Yard Hired Professionals for Lawn or Landscape Work in the Last Year,” Landscape Business (Dec. 11, 2017)

Emissions Test: Car vs. Truck vs. Leaf Blower,” Edmunds (December 2011)

Agency Offers a Cleaner, Quieter Leaf Blower,” New York Times (February 2006)

Regional media

Northeast

Why gas-powered leafblowers are getting banned in Greater Boston,” WGBH (Nov. 9, 2023)

Massachusetts landscaping company aims to decrease noise, protect environment,” WBZ-TV Boston (June 20, 2023)

Some towns across [Connecticut] are considering stricter regulations on gas lawn equipment,” CT Insider (May 14, 2023)

Should we ban gas-powered leafblowers?Radio Times, WHYY Philadelphia (Nov. 17, 2022) — Direct link to episode stream

Environmental Advisory Council talks leafblowers,” Yale News, New Haven CT (Dec. 3, 2021)

Huntington [NY] Joins Communities Across Country Restricting Gas-Powered Leafblowers Over Pollution Concerns,” WLNY (Nov. 10, 2021)

Can You Use a Leafblower and Be an Environmentalist?” GoLocal / Providence (Sept. 18, 2021)

Montgomery “County [Maryland] to consider banning gas-powered leafblowers,” Bethesda magazine (Sept. 1, 2021)

Campus Landscape Services Now Use Battery-Powered Equipment,” Harvard Crimson (March 28, 2017)

Southeast

The Problem with Gas-Powered Leafblowers,” Washington Post (Nov. 5, 2023)

‘A lot quieter’: Miami Beach Commission will consider ban on gas-powered leafblowers,” Miami Herald (Nov. 26, 2021)

Atlanta neighbors push to ban ‘noisy’, ‘pollution-spewing’ gas-powered leafblowers,” WSB-TV (Nov. 11, 2021

Nullifying Noise: Islamorada [Florida] Looks to Toughen Ordinance,” Keys Weekly (Sept. 28, 2021)

Do noisy leafblowers drive you crazy? You’re not alone,” Miami Herald (May 26, 2017)

Mid-West and West Coast

California’s all-electric shift is ramping up. Here’s what will start vanishing from shelves in January,” San Francisco Chronicle (Dec. 2, 2023) — Describes the state’s ban on small, gas-fueled engines.

Lake Bluff [IL] denies leaf-blower exemption for prominent local couple; ‘We take great pride in the appearance of this property’,” Chicago Tribune (July 11, 2023)

Steps to phase out the use of gas-powered leafblowers in Seattle,” Seattle Times (May 27, 2023)

Updated leafblower ordinance goes into effect on April 2: Use of gas- and propane-powered leafblowers prohibited,” Evanston [IL] Roundtable (March 13, 2023)

Higher fines backed for gas-powered leaf blowers,” Palo Alto [Calif.] Online (Feb. 7, 2023)

California moves to ban sale of gas-powered lawnmowers and leafblowers,” Sacramento Bee (Sept. 9, 2021)

Bay Area cities prepare to restrict gas leafblowers: A state-wide ban could be next,” San Francisco Chronicle (June 27, 2021)

The leafblowers go quiet at USC, home of the country’s first campus green zone,” University of Southern California News (April 19, 2021)

Ann Arbor bans noisy lawn equipment downtown,” Detroit Free Press (July 2019)

More Pollution Than Cars? Gas-Powered Gardening Equipment Poses the Next Air Quality Threat,” KQED-FM, San Francisco (Feb. 13, 2017)

Air district report: Leafblowers present health risks,” Mountain View Voice (Aug. 24, 2015)

Research Studies and White Papers

Lawn care goes electric,” Public Interest Research Group (Oct. 30, 2023)

Lawn Maintenance and Climate Change,” Princeton Student Climate Initiative (May 12, 2020)

FAQ: Health Hazards of Gas-Fueled Leafblowers (Quiet Communities, 2020)

How Leaf Blowers Are Trying to Kill Us,” Canadian Audiologist, Vol. 6 Issue 5 (2019)

Lawn and Garden Equipment Sound: A Comparison of Gas and Battery Electric Equipment,” Journal of Environmental and Toxicological Studies (Dec. 2018) — “The measured [gas-powered leafblower] sound spectrum had a markedly greater low-frequency component compared with the [electric leafblower] sound spectrum, allowing it to transmit and remain audible over longer distances and have greater adverse impact on the surrounding community.”

Characteristics of Lawn and Garden Equipment Sound: A Community Pilot Study,” Journal of Environmental and Toxicological Studies (Nov. 2017) — “All sound metrics emitted from this equipment were found to exceed WHO outdoor daytime standards (55 dB) up to 800 feet away from the centroid. … The loudness of [gas-burning leafblower] sound at the point of operation is especially concerning for the … health of workers and others regularly exposed in close proximity. The ability of this sound — in particular its lower-frequency components — to travel over long distances suggests that [it] has a wide ranging impact on surrounding communities and raises concerns over its adverse health impacts.”

National Emissions from Lawn and Garden Equipment,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2015) — Gasoline-powered landscape maintenance equipment (GLME) accounts for a major portion of U.S. non-vehicle gasoline emissions. Two-stroke engines are an important source of VOCs and criteria pollutants.

Report to the California Legislature on the Potential Health and Environmental Impacts of Leaf Blowers,” California Environmental Protection Agency — Air Resources Board, Mobile Source Control Division (February 2000)

To get involved in the Noise Project’s leafblower working group, please contact us