Ban the Leaf Blowers
Whereas: * leaf blowers generate a sound that is 100 times the human tolerance level in the open and 200 times the human tolerance level when amplified by brick apartment buildings, and studies have shown that exposure to such torturous sounds causes hearing loss, deafness, heart palpitations, strokes and serious disturbance of brain functions ; * leaf blowers fill the air with a toxic brew of exhaust from a 2-stroke engine, which burns both gasoline and oil, mixed with pollutants such as gaseous carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons, as well as dust and particulate matter containing lead and other poisons for both the user and bystanders to breathe. (According to the Lung Association, a leaf blower causes as much smog as 17 cars) ; * the instructions that accompany the majority of leaf blowers currently on the market state that the user and anyone within 50 feet of the devise must wear not only ear protection but eye and breathing protection as well; innocent bystanders don't have this choice; * leaf blowers are used for 20 – 30 minutes at a time in residential areas putting local residents under serious assault in their living spaces. Those of us who are home workers, day sleepers (more and more these days) or ill, can't work, sleep or convalesce -- thus use of the blower not only assaults our health, it hinders our ability to earn a living; * the sounds generated by a leaf blower cause severe suffering to domestic pets whose hearing is so much more sensitive than a humans; * leaf blowers are used to blow grass cuttings and other debris on to public streets and sidewalks and particularly on to drain grates causing water back-up during storms and requiring city crews to collect the debris; * leaf blowers are no more efficient than leaf sweepers (see image) or mulch mowers (bag attached) and much less environmentally friendly; * leaf blowers (in particular gas-powered blowers) have been banned by a multitude of cities and states in Canada and the U.S. * the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1995, in an all encompassing study on the costs and harmful effects of noise on health and society made a single, simple ruling on leaf blowers – it stated "they should not be used!" We, the undersigned petition the governing councils of all boroughs and cities on the Island of Montreal, as well as the Quebec and Canadian Government Environmental Councils to immediately ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in all areas of their jurisdictions, and to declare a moratorium on the use of all leaf blowers in residentially zoned areas. We also implore them to launch an information blitz in the form of TV and newspaper ads as well as brochures to be distributed to all registered lawn care and landscaping businesses, eco-centres, and CLSC's to inform the public of the health hazards resulting from the use of leaf blowers.