The government must regulate lawn equipment. Seriously.

Read the full column in The Week. For a perspective on Illinois, see ISTC’s 2008 report entitled VOC Emissions from Gas Powered Leaf Blowers in the Chicago Metropolitan Region.

It’s late fall, and that means one thing: It’s leaf blower season. To the lasting irritation of many (especially The Atlantic‘s James Fallows), for the next several weeks communities across the country are going to be subjected to the blower’s endless wheedling drone and associated plume of carcinogenic haze.

Gas-powered leaf blowers are indeed bad. But the problem runs deeper. In fact, all small gasoline engines — used in things like weed whackers, lawn mowers, tillers, and so forth — are astoundingly filthy and should be phased out as soon as possible. It’s time to electrify all lawn equipment.


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