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Gas-powered leaf blowers make noise and are harmful to the environment. Boston will soon look into how to address them.

Gas-powered leaf blowers make noise and are harmful to the environment. Boston will soon look into how to address them.

We’re only taking the first steps, which is that the public wants to hear from us, Bok said. He is currently working with the parks committee and the city’s Environmental Justice, Resiliency and Resiliency committees to schedule a hearing. After a strong public conversation, our hope is that we would be able to file something, such as an actual ordinance.

If Boston were to If the city wanted to regulate leaf blowers, it would join more 100 municipalities across the nation, including Washington, D.C., Naples, Fla., and others that prohibit or limit their use. Massachusetts already has several cities that have adopted ordinances to crack down on leaf blowers. CambridgeAnd Somerville. California, October The first stateGas-powered landscaping equipment will be phased out by 2024.

The environmental impact of lawn mowers powered by fossil fuels has been enormous. In 2018, AmericansNearly 3 billion gallons gasoline were usedTo fuel their mowers or other garden equipment. Federal data shows that the equivalent to More than 3 million households use more energy each year.

Advocates argue that, in addition to reducing emissions, banning gasoline-powered lawn mowers would have positive health effects. Two-stroke engines are toxic compounds that can be produced by leaf blowers, lawnmowers and other gardening equipment. nitrogen oxide, Reactive organic gases, particulate matterExposure to these substances can increase the risk for respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, or other illnesses.

The equipment can have adverse health effects on landscapers, according to Richard Reibstein of Boston University, a lecturer in sustainability policy and environmental policy. Backpack blowers can also cause hearing loss and vibration syndrome. This is a condition that results from prolonged use of vibrating tools.

This is an occupational health issue and the worker is so vulnerable, and they are often undocumented immigrant workers, said Reibstein. Quiet Communities is a Massachusetts-based non-profit that fights noise pollution and is also a program director. It is brutal, and they have no choice.

Bok stated that her interest in regulating equipment was rooted in constituent complaints. She pointed out an affordable housing development in her district that includes Mission Hill. Longwood, Audubon Circle. Fenway. Kenmore. Back Bay. Beacon Hill. The residents on the ground floor prefer keeping their windows open to maintain coolness. They also live near an area where leaf blowers can be found.

People who live there will call and say, Look, I have to choose between being uncomfortable or because my windows aren’t working. [are]Bok stated that I could have my windows closed or left open, and inhale these fumes.

Reibstein suggested that communities interested to regulate gas-powered lawnmowers should offer incentives to both consumers and contractors with grants, loans or buyback programs that allow people who have gas-powered lawnmowers to swap for electric ones. Michelle Ciccolo, Lexington State Representative, has proposed a Bill This would create a grant program that would help cities and towns transition towards low-noise, low-emissions landscaping equipment.

Even gradual phaseouts may cause backlash. Lexington residents Voted in NovemberBefore eventually banning them, they had to restrict the use gas-powered blowers. Now, Lexington’s commercial landscapers are trying to get the ban. Overturned.

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However, not all landscapers will give up their gas-powered equipment. George Carrette, owner EcoQuiet Lawn CareConcord’s owner, John, stated that his customers are willing pay a premium to have quiet, environmentally-friendly landscaping. Today’s battery-powered equipment is more efficient than the equipment he used eight years ago.

You must use a carrot and a hammer approach. You cannot just say “Hey, you have to do this this way,” to all these hard-working landscapers. It is crucial that we as citizens and landscapers work together in this effort.


Deanna Pan can be reached at deanna.pan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @DDpan. Dharna Noor can be reached at dharna.noor@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @dharnanoor.

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